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Returning Member

Spousal Soc Sec

will Soc Sec use the larger number between a spousal benefit as opposed to what might be available to my wife on her own account?

2 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

Spousal Soc Sec

If you are eligible for both a spousal benefit and your own retirement or disability benefit, you cannot collect the combined total. If your benefit is higher, you'll receive only that amount. If the spousal benefit is bigger, Social Security will pay you a combination of the benefits, drawing on both your Social Security account and your mate's, but equal to that higher amount.
Page 7 of gives some good examples. 

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Opus 17
Level 15

Spousal Soc Sec

The spouse benefit is 50% of the spouse's retirement benefit.  So when a spouse applies for retirement benefits, they will be paid 50% of their spouse's benefit, or their own benefit, whichever is larger, but not both. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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