If you are a surviving spouse of someone who worked, then you may be eligible for Social Security Spousal Benefits. This means, when you reach retirement age, if you haven’t already, you can get a monthly check based on your deceased spouse’s Social Security benefits. To qualify, you actually don’t have to do a thing but reach retirement age and apply. It’s the deceased spouse that has to have met the requirements for spousal benefits to be passed onto you.
If the deceased worker had a child or children under the age of 16 and you take care of that child, then you can start receiving Survivor’s benefits any time, even if you have not reached retirement age. Same goes for when the deceased’s child is disabled and you take care of him or her.
You may also receive Survivor’s benefits before retirement age if you are disabled, and were disabled before the worker’s death, or within 7 years of the date of death.
How to Start Receiving Your Social Security Spousal Benefits
- Unfortunately, you cannot apply for Social Security Spousal Benefits online. Call the SSA as soon as possible because benefits may not be retroactive. Therefore, the sooner you apply, the more you’ll end up getting. For more info, go to the Social Security Administration’s website’s page on how to apply.
- The Toll-Free telephone number for applying for Social Security Spousal Benefits is 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
- You may also call your local SSA office, if there is one. You can also visit the office, but expect to wait a while in line if you don’t call first for an appointment.
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