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Subject:  Re: Two Social Security Checks? Date:  10/20/2006  7:22 AM
Author:  TMFPixy Number:  10868 of 22253

TDeF writes:

I can understand them each drawing SS based on their own work histories, but they're both alive and still married, so why would she be receiving checks in her name based on his benefit as well as checks based on her benefit? Or do you mean that they split his benefit somehow and issue one check to her for part of it and the remainder to him?

Where is it written that anything Congress does must be understandable or make sense? <vbg>

Under existing law a spouse is entitled to receive a benefit based on the work record of his or her mate. This is true regardless of whether that spouse worked under a job covered by Social Security or not. Still, the spouse is also entitled to receive a benefit under his or her own work record. Therefore, the SSA computes what the benefit would be under both records. The money paid out will always equal the total of the higher benefit payable. But how that amount gets paid causes confusion.

The quirk comes in because folks who paid into the Social Security system will always draw a beneift under their own work record first. If that benefit does not equal what they could draw as a spouse, then an additional amount will be paid from the other spouse's work record so the total benefit the first spouse gets will equal the highest benefit to which that spouse is entitled. As a result, spouses who earned less than their mates often receive benefits that come from both spouses' work records.

Regards ... Pixy
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