If you're married, Social Security offers benefits both under your own work history and under your spouse's work history. But can you claim both, essentially giving you a double Social Security benefit?
In the following video from our Social Security Q&A series, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, answers a question from Fool reader Thomas, who asks whether he can file both for spousal benefits and for his own benefits. Dan explains that you're only entitled to receive spousal benefits if your spouse files for Social Security under her own work history, and so if you're the only person to file, you can only claim your own benefits. Moreover, Dan points out that in combining spousal benefits and your own, you don't simply add the two amounts together, but rather essentially end up getting whichever the greater amount happens to be. Even without double benefits, though, the interplay between your own benefits and spousal benefits is worth looking into.
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Have general questions about Social Security? Email them to SocialSecurity@fool.com, and they might be the subject of a future video!