By checking your benefit now, you’ll have a good idea of how much you can realistically depend on Social Security to provide in retirement. That, in turn, can help you determine how much you’ll need to save on your own.
3. Determine which benefits you’re eligible to collect
Most workers are eligible for retirement benefits, but you might qualify for other types of Social Security — including spousal benefits, divorce benefits, or survivors benefits.
Spousal benefits and divorce benefits are available to those who are currently or formerly married to someone who is eligible for Social Security benefits. The maximum you can receive in either of these types of benefits is 50% of the amount your spouse (or ex-spouse) is entitled to at FRA.
If your benefit amount based on your own work record is higher than that, you’re not eligible for spousal or divorce benefits. If you are entitled to your own benefits but you’d receive more by claiming spousal or divorce benefits, the Social Security Administration will pay the higher amount — not both amounts.
Survivors benefits are generally only available to widowed spouses, but there are some exceptions. If you’re financially dependent on a parent, child, ex-spouse, or other family member who passes away, you could potentially receive survivors benefits.