As you can see, while Social Security benefits are designed primarily to benefit the worker who earned them, couples get special consideration. Now, even if your spouse has never worked before, he or she may receive a marital reward up to half the amount of your benefit. If both partners have worked, personal benefits will always be paid before spouse benefits unless you use one of the strategies discussed above. Claiming a marital benefit does not reduce the value of the principal’s benefit.
Divorced spouses are also usually entitled to spouse benefits, even if the divorced worker married again. If your former spouse remains single and your marriage lasts 10 years or more, he or she will be entitled to benefits as long as you are 62 or older and the marital benefit is greater than the benefit you would receive based on your personal job history.
Survivors may get rewards if a person who has worked for a long time to qualify for Social Security benefits is no longer alive. Survivors that may be eligible include:
- Widowed spouses 60 or older, or 50 or older if disabled;
- Widowed spouse of any age caring for the deceased’s child if the child is under 16 or incapacitated;
- Single children under the age of 18 (or up to 19 if they are primary or secondary school students) or who have a disability started before age 22;
- Stepchildren, grandchildren, stepchildren or foster children under certain circumstances;
- Divorced surviving spouses who meet the criteria discussed above.
How Medicare Advantage plans can help
Many people going on social security are also eligible for Medicare. There are many options when it comes to insurance coverage during this time, and seniors need to be informed of them all prior to making a decision. Medicare advantage plans in 2020 are becoming quite affordable for those looking for comprehensive coverage. Many of these plans also include dental and vision benefits.
I mentioned the disability several times in relation to Social Security eligibility. In general, two different income tests together determine if an individual qualifies for disability benefits. First of all, a “recent work” test is based on an individual’s age at the time he or she was deactivated. Second, a “work duration” test must show that the person worked long enough to be entitled to benefits. If you qualify for disability benefits but can return to work, disability benefits for Social Security will continue until you have completed a probationary period, in which you earn more than $ 770 per month for nine month. After the trial period, you will still be able to work and receive benefits for any month when your earnings are not “substantial”. In 2014, this is set to over $ 1,070 per month. This eligibility extended period lasts 36 months.
Payments of Social Security benefits may be partially taxable, regardless of the circumstances in which you withdraw them.