Benefits for the Spouse of a Disabled Person

You can get retirement benefits based on your spouse’s record if:

  • You have been married for a year, and
  • You are 62, and
  • Your spouse is 62 and is either
    • Drawing benefits, or
    • Has applied for benefits and asked that his or her benefits be suspended (do this if you want to retire, but he doesn’t)

You can get benefits as the mother of your deceased spouse’s child if:

  • You have that child in your care; and
  • You have not remarried; and
  • Your income is low (your mother’s check is reduced by income exactly like a retired person’s income is reduced; the check is reduce 50 ¢ for every dollar of earnings over a certain amount, roughly $15,000)

You can get disability benefits on your deceased spouse’s record if:

  • You were married to your spouse for 9 months before he or she died; and
  • You are disabled, and
  • You are over 50, and
  • You are not now married to anyone else, and
  • You became disabled and turned 50 within 7 years of later of these 2 dates: either
    • the date your spouse died, or
    • the date of the last check you got as the mother of your deceased spouse’s child

You can get retirement on your deceased spouse’s record if:

  • You were married to the spouse for 9 months before he or she died, and
  • You are not presently married to anyone else
  • You are 60 or older, and
  • You are either
    • Unmarried, or
    • You remarried after age 60

Tricks:

  • If you are disqualified from getting spouse’s benefits because you are married, once you turn 60, get divorced and immediately remarry!