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July 2, 2013 > Social Security Q&A

Social Security Q&A

By Mariaelena Lemus, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in San Jose

Question:
My wife doesn't have enough work under Social Security to qualify for Social Security or Medicare. But I am fully insured and eligible. Can she qualify on my record?

Answer:
Yes. The question you've raised applies to husbands as well as wives. Even if your spouse has never worked under Social Security, she (or he) can, at full retirement age, receive a benefit equal to one-half of your full retirement amount. Your wife is eligible for reduced spouses benefits as early as age 62, as long as you are already receiving benefits. If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government employment, the amount of his or her Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced. For more information, take a look at the fact sheet, Government Pension Offset, Publication No. 05-10007 at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10007.pdf. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov and select the "Retirement" tab.

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