The answer is yes, but you and your spouse have to meet certain eligibility requirements. Your spouse must be sixty-two and drawing Social Security retirement benefits, or your spouse must be receiving Social Security disability benefits. You have to be caring for children under age sixteen, or for a child that became disabled before age twenty-two. The children can be the result of the marriage, adopted, or the stepchildren of you or your spouse. A child born out of wedlock is also eligible.

Your benefit amount would be equal to 50 percent of your spouse’s retirement benefits at full retirement age. You would stop receiving benefits when the youngest child reaches age sixteen. Your check wouldn’t stop if you’re caring for a child who was disabled before the age of twenty-two. No duration of marriage rule applies to you in this case. You can start collecting your checks after you apply for them.