As with all Social Security programs, there are many variations on benefits. One common occurrence is a wife who never worked outside the home. If she has never worked, Social Security looks at several factors to see if she qualifies.
Has the Wage Earner Paid into Social Security?
If the husband was employed by an entity that did not pay into social security, then the wife is not due social security benefits. On-the-other-hand, if he worked and paid enough into social security to be eligible, then his wife is due one-half his benefit at her full-retirement age even if she has never worked.
How Much Is the Spousal Social Security Benefit?
If a wife never worked, she qualifies for one-half her husband’s amount at her full retirement age. Eligibility for benefits begins at age 62. However, for every month prior to full retirement age she takes the benefit, her amount will be reduced. The exception to this rule is if she is taking care of a child age 16 or younger or disabled and receiving Social Security. In this case, age does not matter. She is entitled to the full one-half spousal benefit at the time of application.
If My Wife Has never Worked, Can She Qualify Under my Social Security?
Ultimately, the answer this answer to this question is, “Yes.” If a husband has paid enough money into Social Security to be due a benefit, his wife is eligible to begin receiving benefits as early as age 62 or even earlier if caring for a child under the age of 16 or who is disabled. Its important to remember that in normal situations, for every month prior to full retirement age that she takes the benefit, she is permanently penalized a percentage of the one-half amount due.