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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37392
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I'm on social security and get $3300 per month. If she

Customer Question

I'm on social security and get $3300 per month. If she applies for social security and also spousal benefits, is there a monthly limit to how much she and I together can receive? (I realize that her benefits will be reduced if she retires before full retirement age).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good evening,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

First, I know that the only reason you are receiving $3300 per month is because you are either significantly older than your mid to late 60's, or you took advantage of the delayed retirement credit of 8% per year for delaying your benefits after full retirement age, or a combination of both.

If your wife applies for a spouse benefit, and she is 66 or older, then she will be entitled to up to 50% of the value of your social security benefit that you could have taken at age 66----which as of 2016 is about $2650 per month----which would make her spouse benefit at most about $1,350 per month..

If she retires before full retirement age, she will be penalized about 6% for each year she retires early if she takes her own benefit, and about 3.5% per year for early retirement if she takes a spouse benefit.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** that didn't really answer my question. That is, is there a monthly limit to how much she and I can receive together? To put it another way, is what she will receive as a monthly independent of what I receive?Allen Wood
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

There is a family maximum of 150-180% of your full retirement age benefit. So as long as it is only you and your spouse, then in effect there is no limit on what the two of you can get. You can get the same benefit you are getting now and she can get as much as the full 50% of a spouse benefit and still be under the family limit. Also keep in mind that no one can collect more than one retirement benefit at a time form social security. She cannot take her own benefit based on her own lifetime earnings and a spouse benefit at the same time.

To answer your question specifically I need to know your present age, what your age was when you first took a retirement benefit and what age she will take a spouse benefit.

This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might best suit your needs. If you are interested, for a nominal charge I can offer you a phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread. Let me know if you don't want a call and I will be happy continue here with an answer for you.

Thanks in advance,