Elder Law

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I have never worked but my spouse has. What will my Social Security benefits be?

You can receive benefits if you are caring for a child who is under age 16 or has a disability and entitled to benefits. If you don`t have a child in your care, you must be age 62 or older to get benefits when your husband/wife becomes disabled or retires.

If you choose to begin receiving retirement benefits before full retirement age, your benefit amount will be permanently reduced. If you wait until you`re at full retirement age, you`ll get the full spouse`s benefits, which is 50 percent of the amount your working husband or wife is entitled to at full retirement age. (The age at which full benefits are payable will increase in the future.)

You and your spouse will have Medicare hospital insurance at age 65 if he/she will be eligible for monthly benefits, and you both can sign up for medical insurance. You will have Medicare at age 65 even if your spouse is younger than you are and still working, provided he/she is at least age 62 and will be entitled to benefits when he retires. You can file an application for hospital insurance a few months before you reach age 65.

(While your spouse is working, he/she earns credits toward Medicare protection for your family in the event any of you ever need dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant for permanent kidney failure. Also, if he/she becomes disabled and is entitled to benefits for 24 months, he/she would have Medicare protection.)