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Are you eligible for Social Security if you’ve never paid into it?

There are lots of complicated questions about Social Security.

Social Security cards and money

Here is a breakdown of what you need to know. 

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Social Security and spousal benefits

There are a number of factors that influence Social Security. Social Security benefits will not impact your pension. It is possible that you can claim spousal benefits, even f you haven’t paid in. Read more about it here

If you haven’t put money into Social Security, but your spouse has, you may be able to claim. You can typically claim half of your spouse’s full retirement benefit as early as 62. However, if you start taking at 62, your benefit will be permanently reduced. 

If you have been paying into Social Security but your own retirement benefit is less than half of your spouses, you can claim theirs. Your spousal benefit would be the difference between your benefit and half of your spouses. 

You can only receive spousal benefits if your partner has started collecting them as well. Payments may also be reduced if you or your spouse receives disability benefits. The Government Pension Offset (GPO) oversees the process.

You can calculate your protentional reductions ahead of time. The Social Security Administration has an online calculator to help make an estimation.

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