- 1). Determine if you qualify for collecting on your husband's Social Security benefits. There are several criteria to meet:
•Marriage length---You need to have been married for at least 10 years.
•Your age---You must be at least 62 years old or at least 50 years old and disabled. (If you're raising your husband's minor children or disabled children you will qualify regardless of your age.)
•Current marital status---You must be unmarried.
•Your own Social Security benefit entitlement---If the portion of your husband's benefits that you would receive is smaller than your own benefits you don't qualify.
If you're still not sure if you qualify you can use the SSA's Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) found at http://connections.govbenefits.gov/ssa_en.portal.
- 2). Go to the SSA website: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/SSA_Home.html.
- 3). Click on "What You Can Do Online" on the left side of the screen. This link will take you to the Retirement Benefit Application.
- 4). Locate the gray box on the right side of the screen titled "Apply for Benefits." In that box, select "I am applying for myself." Although your intention is to collect a portion of your husband's benefits, you are in fact applying to receive them for yourself.
You'll also need to read the Privacy Act Statement and then click the box to confirm that you understand the terms of the statement. Then click "Apply for Benefits" at the bottom of the box.
The application process to apply for disability benefits for yourself can be quite daunting as the SSA requires in-depth descriptions of all medical problems. Applying for your share of already approved benefits, however, is relatively simple. You'll be taken through a series of pages where you'll need to provide your name, address, birth date and Social Security number.
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