Can a non-working spouse get Social Security retirement benefits?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2022 | Social Security Benefits

Spouses often split up household responsibilities unevenly. Rather than each spouse assuming half of the responsibility for everything, one may have more obligation to care for the children while the other is the primary breadwinner.

Dependent spouses give up some of their income and their future earning potential by staying home or investing less in their careers. Their spouses are able to earn more and really focus on their professions because they don’t have to fulfill so many obligations at home.

If you were a stay-at-home spouse, can you claim some of your spouse’s Social Security retirement benefits?

Yes, a surviving spouse can claim benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) absolutely allows a surviving spouse of a worker who has accrued benefits to claim retirement benefits. Widows and widowers, as well as dependent children and even parents, can claim the Social Security benefits their deceased loved one accrued. In some cases, even a divorced spouse of a deceased individual may qualify for benefits.

The SSA does pay a lump-sum death benefit for surviving spouses who lived with the deceased person. However, it is only a one-time payment of $255. You can also receive monthly benefits if you are a widow or widower over the age of 60, over the age of 50 with a disabling medical condition or caring for a minor child or adult child with a disability that is also the child of the deceased.

Determining what benefits you can receive and what evidence you need to qualify can lead to an easier claim. Learning more about your rights to Social Security benefits can help you plan for a stable and safe retirement.