Social Security dependent eligibility


Q. I worked for the United States Postal Service from 1978 through 2013. During that time I never paid Social Security. I am almost 58 years old. In 2013, I remarried, and my new wife has paid Social Security her entire life. She is six years younger than me. My only Social Security contributions came as a kid. And if I remember correctly I have about nine quarters earned. When I turn 62, am I eligible to receive dependent Social Security benefits? I did pay Medicare tax.

A. You should establish an account at and review your earnings record and Social Security benefit eligibility statement. Based on what you have told me, you are not eligible for retirement benefits based on your record, but will be eligible for a spousal benefit on your wife’s record after she claims her own benefit.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

1 Comment

  1. As a CSRS retiree, he will not get much, if anything, when filing for spouse’s SS on his wife’s record, due to the Government Pension Offset. The GPO will reduce what he could collect by 2/3 of his CSRS pension, which almost always wipes out the SS spousal benefit. Link to the Social Security publication on GPO:

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