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What you could get from Family benefits

You could get up to half of the benefit amount your family member would get at their Full Retirement Age.

You might also be able to get Medicare based on your family member’s work history if you’re age 65 or older, or you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

If you can get other Social Security benefits besides Family, we’ll pay you the highest amount you’re eligible for. We don’t add the payment amounts together.

What could affect your payment amount

Your age when you apply

You can apply for spousal benefits starting at age 62. However, your payment amount will be higher the longer you wait to apply, up until your Full Retirement Age (between ages 66 and 67). 

If you’re age 62 or older when you apply, we’ll check your eligibility for Retirement as well. You’ll get whichever payment amount is higher. 

Your work

There may be earnings limits if you work while getting Family benefits. Your payment will be temporarily reduced if you earn above the limit in a year.

Select your date of birth to see your earnings limit:

Your pension

If you’re getting a pension from a government employer, your payment amount might be lower

How many family members qualify

There's a limit to how much a family can get, called the “family maximum.” If needed, payments for the spouse and children will be lowered to stay under this limit. Payments to ex-spouses don’t count toward the family maximum.