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Can My Spouse Collect Social Security Before I Retire? Skip to content

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Can my spouse collect Social Security on my record before I retire?

En español | No. You have to be receiving your Social Security retirement or disability benefit for your husband or wife to collect spousal benefits.

This has only recently become the case. In 2015, Congress passed a law ending the practice of “file and suspend,” which allowed a husband or wife to collect spousal benefits on the work record of a partner who had claimed and then suspended his or her own Social Security payments.

Keep in mind

  • There is an exception for former spouses. You can collect benefits on the work record of an ex who has not yet filed for his or her own Social Security benefits if all of the following hold:
    • You are both 62 or older.
    • The marriage lasted at least 10 years.
    • You’ve been divorced for at least two years.

Published October 10, 2018

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