Can I apply for spousal benefits since my own benefit will be decreased by WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision)?

Published: July 6, 2021

Full question: My SS benefits will be whacked by WEP. Can I apply under my wife for spousal benefits and will they be half of her benefit (despite my WEP)?


Yes, in fact when you apply for any Social Security benefits, you will be “deemed” to be filing for all the benefits you are entitled to.

As a married couple, you are each entitled to collect a spousal benefit based on the other’s earnings record.

Whether you actually collect that benefit, and what amount it may be, is dependent on other factors.

As a retiree who is collecting a non-covered pension, another rule, the Government Pension Offset, GPO, affects how much of a dependent benefit, such as the spousal and survivor benefits, you are eligible to collect.

Under the GPO rule, 2/3 of your pension is deducted from any spousal or survivor benefit you claim.

Without knowing your and your wife’s benefit amounts, the amount of your pension, and the age that you claim, it cannot be determined if you would actually receive any spousal or survivor benefits.

Take care,

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