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Topics on this page
- What is the spousal benefit?
- Income Eligibility
- Asset Eligibility
- Sources of Law
The spouse of a wage earner can receive up to one-half the wage earner's "full benefit" amount. The full benefit amount is based on the wage earner's work history. In 2015, the maximum wage earner's monthly benefits was $ 2,642. Both opposite sex and same sex partners may be eligible for these type of benefits in many states.
Many figures used to calculate Social Security Spouse benefits are revised annually by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Federal agency that administers the program. These figures are usually updated in October and can be found in the November issue of the Federal Register, the official government source for administrative changes.
Note: the Press Office http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/pressrel.htm of the Social Security Administration issues annual updates on the Social Security cost-of-living increases. The figures are reliable and are updated each year after October 1st, based on an examination of changes in the Consumer Price Index since the previous year.
You can also find the figures on the SSA website, or by calling Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, or TTY at 1-800-325-0778 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, or you can visit www.ssa.gov.
The amount of a spousal benefit depends upon the work record of the wage earner. The benefit amount is a percentage of the wage earner's benefits. If others also receive a benefit on the wage earner's work record, the spousal benefit may be reduced if the total amount of benefits paid on a single work record exceeds a family maximum. Learn more about Benefits For Your Spouse through the Social Security Administration online.
You must be the spouse of a wage earner who is receiving retirement or disability benefits, and meet one of the following:
- you were married at least one year or
- you had a child with the wage earner or
- you were already eligible for Social Security benefits on another account in the month before the marriage
- you are 62 or older or
- you have the wage earner's child who is entitled to benefits in your care, and the child is either
- under 16 or
- is disabled.
There are no income eligibility requirements.
There are no asset eligibility requirements.
You can appeal any denial, termination, or reduction of benefits
- You must file an appeal within 60 days of the date of the written notice with which you disagree.
- In addition, you have a 5 day "grace period" to allow for the mailing of the notice to you, making the total amount of time you have to file an appeal 60+5 days.
Federal Law: U.S. Code, Title 42 § 402
Federal Regulations: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 20 §§ 404.330 to 404.333