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Yet Another SS Question
Old 06-01-2011, 09:13 PM   #1
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Yet Another SS Question

I have googled this, and searched the thread, but have not found an answer. A friend of mine is contemplating marriage. He is 66 and she is 65. Will she qualify for spousal benefits? i.e. 1/2 of what his benefit is? Or, do they have to married for 10 years?
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:44 PM   #2
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Were both married before? Did she ever work and get her own SS?

This is a bit different.. but my sister was married to someone for 11 years when she was young... he has better SS then her departed DH... when she applied for the widow benefits the person told her that if DH#1 dies she will get more money... who knew...

I do think you have to be married 10 years to get spousal benefits...
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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Have no idea so suggest you get further confirmation (esp. from sscritic
at the bogleheads.org forum):

The link here Retirement Benefits
is very clear that the 10 yrs is a requirement for an ex-spouse but conspicuously lacking in that requirement for a current spouse so suspect it is not a requirement.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:04 AM   #4
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I think a good source of information is also the FAQ section of the SS site.

Her previous marriages and if she wants to claim benefits on a divorced husband are all questions to be taken into account. Assuming she is not going to claim on a previous husband I would think that she is immediately eligilble to a normal spouses claim, and after 9 months will be eligible to survivor benefits.

Quote:
Generally, a person can qualify for widow's or widower's benefits if he or she was married to the deceased worker for at least nine months just before the worker died.
Also ask on Bogleheads as suggested above.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I think a good source of information is also the FAQ section of the SS site.

Her previous marriages and if she wants to claim benefits on a divorced husband are all questions to be taken into account. Assuming she is not going to claim on a previous husband I would think that she is immediately eligilble to a normal spouses claim, and after 9 months will be eligible to survivor benefits.



Also ask on Bogleheads as suggested above.


Using your link....


"If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we will always pay you benefits based on your record first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your retirement benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse's benefits."


That is why I asked if she had worked... she might not be able to get spousal benefits...

From reading the requirements, there is nothing in there about lenght of marriage.... so like others I would assume zero... if they don't say, it is not a requirement...
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Using your link....


"If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we will always pay you benefits based on your record first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your retirement benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse's benefits."


That is why I asked if she had worked... she might not be able to get spousal benefits...

From reading the requirements, there is nothing in there about lenght of marriage.... so like others I would assume zero... if they don't say, it is not a requirement...
I agree about the working issue, that is the same for all spouses. I did find it useful that it states that survivor benefits only need 9 months of marriage before they are in force.
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