Social Security and Marriage in Black and White

33 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2014

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Social security benefits are available for individuals and their spouses. Spousal benefits, however, are subject to certain limits where spouses also work in the paid labor market. Social security benefits are the greatest for spouses who do not work in the paid labor market and are the least for spouses who contribute roughly half of their household income.

Social security benefits also are available for surviving spouses. Surviving spousal benefits are reduced for dual wage earner couples. Surviving spousal benefits are the greatest for spouses who do not work in the paid labor market and are the lowest where wives contribute roughly half of their household income. Census Bureau data shows that African-American wives are more likely than White wives to contribute roughly half of their household income. As a result, African-American wives are more likely than White wives to be penalized by the social security limitations placed on dual wage earner couples. This Article should encourage scholars who are interested in examining how African- Americans fare under our current Social Security System to include married African-American couples in their analysis.

Suggested Citation

Brown, Dorothy Andrea, Social Security and Marriage in Black and White (2004). Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 65, No. 111, 2004; Emory Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2468169

Dorothy Andrea Brown (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-712-8218 (Phone)
404-727-6820 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.emory.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/dorothy-a-brown.html

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