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As you face life’s transitions in Texas, it’s crucial to understand your rights and options regarding Social Security benefits. Whether you’re currently married, divorced, or widowed, you may be eligible for spousal benefits that can provide vital financial support. At Adams Law Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys are here to guide you through the complexities of Social Security and help you secure the benefits you deserve. Understanding the basics of Social Security spousal benefits is the first step in determining whether you qualify and how much you might receive.

How Do Social Security Spousal Benefits Work in Texas?

In Texas, as in the rest of the United States, the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows qualifying spouses to receive benefits based on their current or former spouse’s work record. This can be a valuable source of income, especially if you have limited work history or earned significantly less than your spouse over the years.

If you’re currently married, you can claim a spousal benefit equal to one-half of your spouse’s total retirement amount — once you reach your full retirement age. You’ll receive a reduced amount if you claim benefits before reaching full retirement age. To be eligible, your spouse must receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

It’s important to note that if you’re eligible for Social Security benefits based on your work record, the SSA will pay that amount first. If the benefit you’d receive based on your spouse’s record is higher, however, you’ll get a combination of benefits equaling the higher amount.

Divorced or Widowed? You May Still Qualify for Spousal Benefits

What if your marriage ended in divorce or your spouse passed away? You might still be eligible for Social Security spousal benefits. If your marriage lasted at least 10 years and you’re currently unmarried, you can receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record once you turn 62. If your ex-spouse is deceased, you may qualify for survivor benefits as early as age 60 or age 50 if you’re disabled.

To claim benefits as a divorced spouse, you must be unmarried. If you remarry, you generally can’t collect benefits on your ex-spouse’s record unless your new marriage also ends (by death, divorce, or annulment). If you’re a widow or widower who remarries after age 60 (or 50 if disabled), however, you can still collect survivor benefits based on your deceased spouse’s record.

One of the most significant advantages of claiming spousal benefits as a divorced or widowed individual is that it won’t impact the benefits your ex-spouse or current spouse receives. The SSA doesn’t limit the number of ex-spouses who can claim benefits based on a single worker’s record. This means that even if your ex-spouse has remarried, you and their current spouse may qualify for spousal benefits without reducing the amount either of you receives.

Determining Your Eligibility and Benefit Amount

To determine your eligibility, you need to gather information about your work history and your spouse’s (or ex-spouse’s) work record. This includes details like the length of your marriage, your age, and your respective earnings over the years.

If you need clarification about your eligibility or have questions about the claims process, consulting with an experienced Social Security attorney can be invaluable. At Adams Law Firm, our knowledgeable legal team can help you navigate the complexities of spousal benefits and ensure you’re maximizing your income in retirement.

We’ll work with you to analyze your unique circumstances, explain your rights, and guide you through claiming the benefits you deserve. Whether you need help gathering the necessary documentation, filing a claim, or appealing a denial, we’ll be by your side at every step.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

Navigating the complexities of Social Security benefits can be challenging, especially during times of personal upheaval. You may be facing a divorce, losing a spouse, or simply trying to plan for your financial future. Regardless of your situation, the compassionate legal team at Adams Law Firm is here to help.

Planning is one of the most critical steps to secure your financial well-being in retirement. This means understanding your Social Security options, including spousal benefits, and making informed decisions about when to claim them. In general, waiting until your full retirement age (or even later) to start collecting benefits can result in a higher monthly payment for the rest of your life.

Taking Action to Secure Your Benefits

Social Security Spousal Benefits in Texas Image 2If you believe you’re eligible for Social Security spousal benefits in Texas, you must take action to secure the income you deserve. The first step is to gather the necessary information and documentation, including proof of your marriage (or divorce), age, spouse’s (or ex-spouse’s) Social Security number, and work history.

Next, you’ll need to file a claim with the SSA. You can do this online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. If you need clarification on the process or have questions, contact our experienced attorneys for guidance.

Contact Adams Law Firm

If you’re in Texas and have questions about your rights and options, call us at (281) 391-9237 or contact us. The knowledgeable attorneys at Adams Law Firm are here to provide the clear guidance and unwavering support you need to secure your financial future. Together, we’ll pursue the the maximum spousal benefits to which you’re entitled under the law.

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