The Often Misunderstood Subject of Spousal Benefits–Some Clarifying Comments

Questions about benefits available to spouses fall into the most active category we deal with at the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory Service. For example, in 2022 the topics of spousal benefits and survivor benefits accounted for nearly a quarter of the more than 6,500 individual cases we handled–a trend that has been consistent in past years. There are a number of specific rules used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine how these benefits are calculated and applied, and it’s important for planning purposes to have them clearly understood.

In a post today on, SSA veteran Tom Margenau, a former deputy press officer and chief spokesperson for the agency, provides a broad overview of some of the more frequently encountered questions and individual situations on the general subject of “benefits for spouses.” In his post, he uses a question-and-answer format to dispel some of the prevalent misconceptions about who is eligible for what benefits, including these topics:

  • Benefits for spouses who did not work extensively (or at all) outside the home
  • Switching from one’s own benefits to drawing on a spouse’s work record
  • Determination of “spousal boosts”
  • Inclusion of deferred retirement credits in surviving spouse benefits
  • Why homemakers do not receive Social Credit credits

To read the full Marganau post, click here.

Developing a Social Security claiming strategy is an important, critical part of retirement planning, and each individual situation is subject to nuances that need to be taken into account. This is one of the fundamental reasons why the AMAC Foundation Social Security Advisory Service was created–to provide focused assistance to those approaching key decisions when they need it the most. This service, which you can learn about here, is provided free of charge to the public.

The first link provided above connects readers to the full content of the posted article. The URL (internet address) for this link is valid on the posted date; cannot guarantee the duration of the link’s validity. Also, the opinions expressed in these postings are the viewpoints of the original source and are not explicitly endorsed by AMAC, Inc.; the AMAC Foundation, Inc.; or

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