When you start receiving Social Security retirement benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record.

If they qualify, your spouse or child may receive a monthly payment of up to one-half of your full retirement benefit amount. These payments will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits your family may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

Maximum Family Benefits

If one of your children also qualifies for benefits, there is a limit to the amount we can pay your family. The total depends on your benefit amount and the number of family members who also qualify on your record.

The total varies, but generally the total amount you and your family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of your full retirement benefit.

Note: If you have a divorced spouse who qualifies for benefits, it will not affect the amount of benefits you or your family may receive.

If any of your qualified family members apply for benefits with you, we will ask you for their Social Security numbers and their birth certificates.

Click on the items below for a description of benefits that may be paid to your:

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