Social Security: What do you need to apply for spousal or divorce benefits?

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Applying for and receiving spousal benefits is a great way to increase your monthly Social Security benefit alone — sometimes as much as $800. Even if you have never worked, under Social Security you may be eligible for benefits if you are at least 62 years old and your spouse/ex-spouse has already applied for retirement benefits.

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You can apply online if you are within 3 months of your 62nd birthday or older or by calling National Service toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. You can also go to your local social security office. An appointment is not necessary, but if you call ahead and ask for one, it can cut down on the time spent waiting to apply.

Documents that will be required to apply will include:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal alien status if you were not born in the United States;
  • US military paper(s) if you did your military service before 1968;
  • W-2 form(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for the last year.
  • Final judgment of divorce, in the event of a request as a divorced spouse; and
  • Marriage certificate.

It is important to note that the Social Security Administration accepts photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, or medical documents, but only accepts original copies of most other documents. such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc. Original documents will always be returned. yours.

Even if you don’t have all of the documents listed above, the SSA says you should still apply because they can help you get the documents you’re missing.

You will also be asked to provide personal information such as the number of children you have and their ages, your military status, your citizenship status, and your employment history, among other things.

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You can also apply for and receive spousal benefits even if you are divorced. If you are divorced, your marriage must have lasted a year or more for you to receive benefits on their record. You also do not have to remarry personally, because then you would have to apply for benefits from your new spouse. You are eligible to receive benefits from your ex-spouse if the benefit you are entitled to for your own work is less than the benefit you would receive from your ex-spouse.

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Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private banking and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo.

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