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Can I collect a % of Hubby's SS although I am not collecting?


Can I collect a % of Hubby's SS although I am not collecting?

My Sister-in-Law is collecting a percentage of my Brothers SS check. I did some looking and found what's called Spousal Benefits but that can't be what she's collecting because this is for when I claim, however, I am 65yrs and am waiting till I'm 70 to collect.


Does anyone know what this benefit is called and/or what I need to do?


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Trusted Social Butterfly

DavidB...the number to Soc Sec is:  1-800-772-1213  Best to contact your local office if that is possible.


The following two links are to the social security website and regarding if you're divorced and if you aren't.

I started collecting on my own work history and the EX when i was eligible, even though he didn't start drawing social security for several years later. However i was drawing soc sec myself. The only requirement is that a person is married for 10 years. I paid NO FEES and it wasn't difficult. All you need to do is contact Social Security.


The person at social security will be able to answer all your questions and guide you in the right direction.  Good luck.


I'm adding this from the soc sec site as well:

Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to 50 percent of your spouse’s full retirement age amount if you are full retirement age when you take it. If you qualify for your own retirement benefit and a spouse’s benefit, we always pay your own benefit first.  You cannot receive spouse’s benefits unless your spouse is receiving his or her retirement benefits (except for divorced spouses).

Hope the above helps.



Never Look Down on Anybody...Unless You Are Helping Them Up. 🙂
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Periodic Contributor

Yes; you can do that if you were legally married (10 years) for the minimum required amount of time or you remain married. They are called spousal benefits and you must do it correctly when you reach full retirement age and have not yet applied for your own benefits. Your spouse must be collecting SSA.  The spousal benefits are 50% of the other spouse’s benefits upon which you are drawing, but if you want to wait to collect your own benefits, it may be worth pursuing. It is a bit tricky to do and if you apply incorrectly, it can cause problems because of deeming rules. Therefore, you may find it worthwhile (as have I and many people I know) to do more checking on the new SSA law or to sign up for “Maximize My Social Security.   For “Maximize,” you pay the fee, set up an account, enter your personal information and your spouse's information. The system (which is run by renowned retirement experts, including Laurence J. Kotlikoff, is well worth the money and lets you run various scenarios, such as retiring at different ages, using spousal benefits rather than your own, and it will run the optimal scenario to help you receive the most benefits legally possible.  If you remain married, the program will use the information to provide you with various scenarios, such as which of you should apply for benefits first.  
I used it and I was completely satisfied to figure out when to retire and whether to use spousal benefits.  I followed their instructions to the letter (including the way to "deem," which can be tricky).  I had no problem. The authors have online advisors that answer your electronic questions throughout the time of whichever subscription you purchase. I was totally satisfied with their advisors expertise.  A few years ago, I purchased the one-year subscription to "Maximize My Social Security."  Although, I no longer have a subscription (because I followed their advice, I do receive occasional automated email updates. Since then, deeming laws have changed and the “Maximize” program has been updated and replaced with the latest law. You can research Mr. Kotlikoff and his new program on the Web. 

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Honored Social Butterfly



It does NOT work like that any longer, thanks to the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015.


The Act put an end to the Social Security "File and Suspend" and created a "Deemed Filing", at 1st "Deemed Filing" went into effect just for those below FRA but as of January 02, 2020, deemed filing is now in affect for also those who reach FRA.  Filing for benefits is pretty streamline now - not too much figuring out which way is best for the best return loopholes.


AARP - Social Security Resource Center - 07/2016 - Life After 'File and Suspend' 


Social - Deemed Filing For Retirement And Spouse’s Benefits FAQs 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Periodic Contributor

Thanks for this update!  I knew the law was changing soon and that is why I made certain to take advantage of the loopholes for spousal benefits as soon as I was eligible.  I apologize for not remembering that it was January 2020– not 2021. 

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