For Pennsylvania spouses who are planning their retirement, budgeting is a crucial part of the process. Understanding the various income streams, benefits and investment income can be tricky, but it is important that families are able to gain a comprehensive understanding of how they will fund their later years. For spouses who are eligible for Social Security disability, this includes becoming familiar with the ability for the unaffected spouse to claim benefits from the other partner's employment record.
The husband or wife of an individual who receives Social Security disability is eligible for a spousal benefit, which is calculated upon the record of the disabled spouse. However, choosing when to claim this benefit can be difficult, as there are multiple factors involved. For example, spouses of a disabled individual can claim the spousal benefit at any age if they are caring for a shared child under the age of 16. Otherwise, it is necessary to wait until the claiming spouse reaches the age of 62.
At that point, the claiming spouse may be eligible to receive benefits based on their partner's work record. However, if he or she is eligible to begin claiming on their own account, that payment will be received first. Those who are entitled to a higher payment amount based on the work record of a disabled spouse will receive a combination of benefits that will meet the higher payment level. The age at which an individual chooses to begin receiving benefits also comes into play. In general, those who delay claiming until they approach their full retirement age will receive a larger payment amount.
Deciding when and how to make a claim against a spouse's Social Security disability record can be difficult. For families facing these decisions, it is important to fully understand the ramifications of each choice before moving forward. Each family's needs are unique, but there is a path available to help Pennsylvania spouses achieve their retirement goals.
Source: NewsObserver.com, Money Matters: Tips for figuring out when to take Social Security spousal benefits, Holly Nicholson, Nov. 16, 2013