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NCIDQ National Council for Interior Design Qualification

The test includes 100 scored questions and 25 unscored pilot questions. The IDFX addresses the content areas of Building Systems and Construction, Programming and Site Analysis, Human Behavior and the Designed Environment, Construction Drawing and Specifications, among others. Candidates have three hours to complete the IDFX. Available to approved candidates with their education and work experience requirements, and new interior design graduates and students in the last year of a Bachelor or Master Degree-Seeking interior design program who have not yet completed their work experience.

IDPX computerized multiple choice exam
The Interior Design Professional test (IDPX) is available to approved candidates who have completed both their education and the required amount of work experience. The test consists of 150 scored questions and 25 unscored pilot questions. The IDPX addresses the content areas of Codes and Standards, Building Systems and Integration, Project Coordination, Professional and Business Practices, among others. Candidates are given four hours to complete the IDPX.

PRAC computerized interactive exam
The Interior Design Practicum test (PRAC) is available to approved candidates who have completed both their education and the required amount of work experience. PRAC utilizes three (3) CIDQ case studies: large commercial, small commercial, and multi-family residential, to assess a candidates ability to synthesize information related to the design process and make a judgment using the resources provided.

Interior design is a distinct profession with specialized knowledge applied to the planning and design of interior environments that promote health, safety, and welfare while supporting and enhancing the human experience. Founded upon design and human behavior theories and research, interior designers apply evidence-based methodologies to identify, analyze, and synthesize information in generating holistic, technical, creative, and contextually-appropriate design solutions.

Interior design encompasses human-centered strategies that may address cultural, demographic, and political influences on society. Interior designers provide resilient, sustainable, adaptive design and construction solutions focusing on the evolution of technology and innovation within the interior environment. Qualified by means of education, experience, and examination, interior designers have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect consumers and occupants through the design of code-compliant, accessible, and inclusive interior environments that address well-being, while considering the complex physical, mental, and emotional needs of people.

Interior designers contribute to the interior environment with knowledge and skills about space planning; interior building materials and finishes; casework, furniture, furnishings, and equipment; lighting; acoustics; wayfinding; ergonomics and anthropometrics; and human environmental behavior. Interior designers analyze, plan, design, document, and manage interior non-structural/non-seismic construction and alteration projects in compliance with applicable building design and construction, fire, life-safety, and energy codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines for the purpose of obtaining a building permit, as allowed by law.

​Every PRAC question will be attached to a case study which will include various resources surrounding the design scenario. CIDQ case studies include: a project scenario, universal codes, a plan and other resources that might be needed to answer a question correctly. As with the multiple choice exams, all PRAC questions are worth one point and the question must be answered in its entirety. No partial credit will be given. Candidates are given 4 hours to complete the PRAC Exam.

Interior design includes a scope of services which may include any or all of the following tasks:
Project Management: Management of project budget, contracts, schedule, consultants, staffing, resources, and general business practices. Establish contractually independent relationships to coordinate with, and/or hire allied design professionals and consultants.

Project Goals: Understand, document, and confirm the clients and stakeholders goals and objectives, including design outcomes, space needs, project budget, and needs for specific or measurable outcomes.

Data Collection: Collect data from client and stakeholders by engaging in programming, surveys, focus groups, charrette exercises, and benchmarking to maximize design outcomes and occupant satisfaction.

Existing Conditions: Evaluate, assess, and document existing conditions of interior environments.

Conceptualization: Application of creative and innovative thinking that interprets collected project data and translates a unique image or abstract idea as a design concept, the foundation of a design solution. The concept is then described using visualization and communication strategies.

Selections and Materiality: Selection of interior building products, materials, and finishes; furniture, furnishings, equipment, and casework; signage; window treatments, and other non-structural/non-seismic interior elements, components, and assemblies. Selections shall be made based on client and occupant needs, project budget, maintenance and cleaning requirements, lifecycle performance, sustainable attributes, environmental impact, installation methods, and code-compliance.

Documentation: Develop contract documents for the purposes of communicating design intent and obtaining a building permit, as allowed by law. Documentation by phases may include schematic, design development, and construction drawings and specifications. Drawings may consist of floor plans, partition plans, reflected ceiling plans, and finish plans; furniture, furnishings, and equipment plans; wayfinding and signage plans; code plans; coordination plans; and elevations, sections, schedules, and details illustrating the design of non-load-bearing / non-seismic interior construction and/or alterations.

Coordination: Overseeing non-structural/non-seismic interior design scope in concert with the scope of allied design professionals and consultants, including, but not limited to, the work of architects, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire-protection engineers and designers, and acoustical, audio-visual, low-voltage, food service, sustainability, security, technology, and other specialty consultants. Coordination can include, but is not limited to:

Placement, style and finish of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire-protection devices, fixtures, and appurtenances (i.e., accessories) with the design of the interior environment.

Ceiling materials and heights; interior partition locations.

Acoustical appropriateness of spatial arrangements, construction, and finish materials.

Working closely with contractors to respect budgetary constraints and contribute to value engineering efforts.

Contract Administration: Administration of the contract as the owners agent, including the distribution and analysis of construction bids, construction administration, review of contractor payment applications, review of shop drawings and submittals, field observation, punch list reports, and project closeout.

Pre-Design and/or Post-Design Services: Tasks intended to measure success of the design solution by implementing various means of data collection, which may include occupant surveys, focus groups, walkthroughs, or stakeholder meetings. Collection and reporting findings can range from casually to scientifically gathered, depending on the projects scope and goals.
National Council for Interior Design Qualification
CIDQ Qualification benefits

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National Council for Interior Design Qualification
Question: 147
Specifications can be made most concise by
A. Avoiding the use of words like a, the, and all
B. Using descriptive specifications
C. Using phrases instead of complete sentences
D. Using reference standard specifications
Answer: C
Question: 148
Which design elements could be used to lower the apparent height of a ceiling?
A. A dark, highly textured ceiling
B. A light ceiling and textured walls
C. Strong horizontal lines on the walls
D. Fine-grained patterns on the ceiling and dark walls
Answer: A
Question: 149
To minimize conflicts in the contract documents, what is the LEAST important
action the interior designer can take?
A. Make sure terminology in the specification is the same as in the drawings
B. Show only dimensions on the drawings
C. Have someone check the drawings before they are issued
D. Write the specification after the drawings are essentially complete
Answer: D
Question: 150
A window covering that is made from fabric and generally not intended to be
opened is called
A. An Austrian shade
B. Drapery
C. A curtain
D. A vertical blind
Answer: C
Question: 151
To detail a doorframe for a conference room where privacy is critical, which of
the following is LEAST likely to be required?
A. An automatic door bottom
B. A heavy-duty, silent door closer
C. A solid-core door
D. Neoprene gasketing
Answer: B
Question: 152
What type of resilient flooring would be the best choice for a commercial
A. Sheet vinyl
B. 1/8 in (3) commercial grade vinyl tile
C. Sheet rubber
D. Heavy-duty cork flooring
Answer: A
Question: 153
What symbol is used to indicate a floor-mounted telephone outlet?
A. A
B. B
C. C
D. D
Answer: C
Question: 154
Which of the following would be the LEAST desirable choice for a carpet
installation for hotel rooms that have concrete subfloors?
A. Wool carpet direct-glued
B. Nylon carpet stretched in over a foam cushion
C. Acrylic carpet direct-glued
D. Polyester carpet stretched in over a felt cushion
Answer: A
Question: 155
What is NOT required on a 1-hour rated door
A. Panic hardware
B. Ball-bearing hinges
C. Door closer
D. Metal frame
Answer: A
Question: 156
What type of schedule would be LEAST likely to be found in a set of interior or
design drawings?
A. Millwork schedule
B. Window schedule
C. Finish schedule
D. Equipment schedule
Answer: B
Question: 157
Wallpaper is most useful to a designer in creating
A. Line
B. Scale
C. Pattern
D. Texture
Answer: C
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CIDQ Qualification benefits - BingNews Search results CIDQ Qualification benefits - BingNews Veterans Benefits

The Office of the University Registrar is a liaison between Saint Louis University veteran students and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We process VA forms required for educational benefits, advise student veterans on procedural requirements and certify the enrollment of SLU student veterans to the VA.

Because eligibility for education benefits is determined solely by the VA, questions regarding eligibility should be directed to its representatives at or 1-888-442-4551.

Accessing VA Benefits at SLU

Before using VA benefits at SLU, all veterans and dependents must provide documentation of eligibility. For veterans, this documentation includes your DD-214 and a certificate of eligibility. For dependents, a certificate of eligibility and the Department of Defense authorization for transferred benefits is required.

If you have submitted an application for benefits to the VA but have not yet received a certificate of eligibility, provide a copy of the full application.

New students

If you are a new student who is a veteran, or if you are an eligible dependent who has never used VA education benefits and would like to apply, complete and submit an application online at

Transfer students

Any student who previously received VA education benefits (other than vocational rehabilitation) at another school must update their current education benefits online at

You must also complete a veterans benefits registration form for each semester you wish to receive benefits. This will initially be sent to you by the veteran’s certifying official after proof of eligibility has been submitted. It will subsequently be sent via email to all returning veterans and dependents when registration opens for next semester.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Saint Louis University is a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program. We will fund 50 percent of the remaining unmet tuition and fee charges for up to 80 students. Awards are made to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is available to students in all degree programs offered at Saint Louis University, excluding the School of Medicine.

The amount each student receives from SLU varies according to the cost of their degree program and any tuition-specific scholarships or grants they may have been awarded. It cannot exceed the maximum contracted annual amount of $14,000. The Yellow Ribbon Program award cannot be combined with other SLU awards to result in a tuition surplus.

Students must:

  • Be admitted as a degree-seeking student with net tuition and fee charges above the Veteran Affairs' annual maximum rate as posted at
  • Be eligible for the Ch. 33 Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® education benefits at the 100 percent level.
  • Maintain good academic standing at Saint Louis University.
  • Provide proof of eligibility within one week of application. This includes confirmation that the application for benefits has been submitted (with confirmation code) and a copy of the DD-214 or a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility. Students must forward their Certification of Eligibility (CoE) as soon as it becomes available. Funds will not be disbursed until the C0E is received by SLU's Veterans Certifying Official.

If you are selected for the Yellow Ribbon Program at SLU, you will be funded each year you are in your current program of study as long as the University continues to renew its agreement with the VA. SLU has the right to reduce awards or discontinue the program at the end of each academic year.

Students must remain continuously enrolled each fall and spring semester to maintain their award. Exceptions will be made for those called for military duty.

Yellow Ribbon contributions will not be adjusted after the last day to drop classes without a W assigned — typically the end of the second week of classes. Any costs accrued due to adding or dropping classes after that date each semester will be your responsibility.

Note: SLU is required to provide the VA with copies of grades and academic records to support certifications or to show failure to meet progress requirements without seeking prior approval of the individual veteran.

Application Deadlines

The online application will be available for the summer and fall 2023 terms from 9 a.m. Monday, April 24, 2023, to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. It will be open for the spring 2024 term from 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. All times are local.

Student Veteran Responsibilities

The VA and SLU’s veterans certifying official will closely monitor your enrollment status and academic program. Your educational benefit is based on the number of credit hours applied to the academic degree program.

Student veterans have the following responsibilities:

  • Notify the certifying official every time you want to be certified by completing the veterans benefits registration form.
  • Register only for courses required for your selected degree.
  • Do not register for courses for which you have already received a passing grade or credit, even if taken at another institution.
  • Notify the certifying official if you:
    • change programs or major
    • add or drop a class
    • withdraw from classes
    • change address
    • deplete your VA educational benefits
  • Maintain satisfactory progress toward your degree.

Contact Information

Leonard Dollenga
Veterans Certifying Official
DuBourg Hall, Room 119

Direct eligibility and payment questions to the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office:

VA Regional Office
P.O. Box 66830
St. Louis, MO 63166-6830
1-888-GI-BILL (1-888-442-4551)

“GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at”

Sat, 06 May 2023 19:57:00 -0500 en text/html
Steps to Equipment Qualification


(click to enlarge)
This is an example of a table that would be included in a qualification protocol in a prerequisites test section. An official copy of the protocol is printed and the tester fills in results of the procedure for the test section performed.

Equipment qualification is a necessary and critical step in ensuring that a product or service is provided accurately and consistently with requirements aligned with medical device manufacturing and testing. This is especially critical for the medical device industry because the medical device manufactured by a company is considered a piece of equipment and requires qualification, as much as other equipment and instruments involved in manufacturing. Verifying prerequisites before qualification ensures a safe and smooth qualification process. A prerequisite in an equipment qualification is a documented verification intended to demonstrate that everything is in order prior to initiating the execution of the qualification section.

For medical device companies, using prerequisites translates into less time and money spent on avoidable delays. Because the requirements for a piece of equipment or a device can vary widely from company to company and even between pieces of the same type of equipment, it is important to devise a universal set of prerequisites that will address all potential trouble areas. Device OEMs and device-testing facilities need to understand how prerequisites fit into an equipment qualification, and need to know what should be Tested during prerequisite verifications in an equipment qualification. They should also be able to outline a universal set of prerequisites.

Prerequisites in an Equipment Qualification Protocol

Setting up equipment in a medical device manufacturing facility includes ensuring that the equipment will safely and consistently work as intended. To do this, it is necessary to verify the following actions:

  • That the equipment is installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • That the equipment is operated properly and consistently.
  • That the equipment performs within the requirements determined by the facility.

To cover all of the necessary criteria, equipment qualifications are typically organized by separating the protocol into three sections: installation qualification (IQ), operational qualification (OQ), and performance qualification (PQ).

Because the IQ, OQ, and PQ are performed separately, each should have its own set of prerequisite verifications. Because the equipment requirements at each of the qualification stages are different, the prerequisite requirements at each of the qualification stages should be different as well.

What to Verify during Prerequisite Testing

The general goal of prerequisite testing is to ensure that items that commonly cause execution to be delayed or repeated are in order prior to starting the qualification. Because of variations in equipment and differences in how facilities operate, using the exact same prerequisite verifications may not always be the best approach.

For prerequisites to significantly help streamline the qualification process, they have to be tailored to fit the specifics of both the equipment and the facility. As a whole, it is easy to overlook potentially important prerequisites. Therefore, it is often helpful to separate them into categories and address them one at a time. With a good understanding of the categories, the process of tailoring the verifications to suit a specific piece of equipment at a specific facility will be much smoother. Although it is nearly impossible to cover all prerequisite verifications, some of the most common prerequisite categories are presented and explained in the following paragraphs.

Procedure Prerequisites

Procedure verification includes any procedure that is required for operation or maintenance of the equipment as well as any sampling or testing procedures required to obtain and analyze the protocol samples. Each of these procedures has typical items that need verification, such as the status of the procedure, the title, and the document number. Specifications vary depending on the section of the protocol the verification is being written for (i.e., IQ, OQ, or PQ). For example, during the IQ, it might be acceptable for the procedures to still be in draft form. But by the time the PQ section is going to be executed, the procedures must be approved documents.

Performing procedure verification could be cost-efficient for a company. For example, a medical device facility brought in personnel to perform the time-consuming task of collecting microbial samples for a qualification. When the samples arrived at the laboratory, they realized that the testing procedure for the samples was still in development. None of the samples taken were usable and the entire collection process had to be repeated once the testing procedure was approved. Because of the delays, the launch of the medical device into the market had to be postponed. The expense of the wasted man-hours and supplies and the delay of the launch could have easily been avoided by a procedure verification prerequisite.

Training Verification

(click to enlarge)

Procedure prerequisite specifications in equipment qualification.

The importance of verifying the training of operators and test personnel is a universal prerequisite throughout the various types of validations and qualifications. For equipment qualification, it's important to verify that the personnel operating the equipment (in addition to the personnel executing the protocol) have the training required to successfully perform the necessary tasks according to the currently acceptable method. Additionally, the personnel executing the protocol should be similarly trained.

Picture executing a performance qualification of an autoclave for which the operator doesn't know how to control the equipment, and the importance of verifying operator training becomes clear. What may not seem as clear is why it is important to verify the training of the qualification test personnel. A medical device manufacturer learned the importance of test personnel training during the qualification of a freezer. The freezer qualification included a 72-hour temperature mapping, which required monitoring and recording the temperature in different quadrants of the freezer at specified time intervals for a three-day period. During an audit, it was discovered that the data were not collected for the full 72 hours. An investigation concluded that the error was due to the fact that the testers who set up the mapping were trained on an earlier revision of the protocol and didn't realize the time interval had changed. For this company, the small amount of time that would have been needed to execute a prerequisite seems well worth it after being set back three or more days because of the need to investigate and repeat the test.

Utilities Verification

Although not actually a part of the equipment, utilities are essential to its operation. Equipment cannot run without electricity, compressed air, gas, water, etc. Utilities that should be Tested include any utility that is required to execute the protocol and has the possibility of not being available or not being available at the required level.

An example of the benefit of performing utility verifications was seen during the qualification of equipment designed to weld the seam of a medical device. For the equipment to produce a successful weld, it was critical that the laser power supply meet very specific electrical requirements. During the qualification, multiple unsuccessful welds were observed. After a lengthy investigation, it was discovered that the problems were caused by a variation in the electricity feeding the laser. Although the problem was identified, the time needed to correct the problem and rerun the test was costly and could have been avoided had the utility qualification of the electrical system been performed prior to starting the testing.

Test Instrument Prerequisites

Instituting test instrument prerequisites is a simple way to eliminate costly delays and misunderstandings. The items that should be tested in this section include any instrument or piece of equipment that is required during the execution of the protocol. Some examples of instruments or equipment that are typically Tested in test instrument verification include voltage meters, particle counters, and scales. Testing and sampling instruments and equipment are often used by many people and often require calibration. Typical items that benefit from prerequisite testing include the availability or location of the instrument or equipment and its calibration status for the expected duration of the qualification execution. Just imagine the headache it would cause, if, when it came time to start a qualification, you realized that your scale was out of calibration or the particle counter you ordered a month ago never arrived. Making arrangements for calibration or tracking down an order often involves time-consuming activities (e.g. getting approvals, contacting customer service representatives, and tedious paperwork). Such tasks are time-consuming in general, so don't add to the burden by waiting to do them until it's too late to resolve the issue without holding up the qualification. Performing prerequisites allows you to address the items before they start causing delays.

An incident during a qualification of an incubator at a contract testing laboratory shows how test instrument verification can make a difference in a timeline. Temperature mapping was included as part of the qualification. After completion of the qualification, it was discovered that some of the data loggers used during the mapping were out of calibration. The calibrations were scheduled and performed, but the mapping had to be repeated once the data loggers were received back from calibration. The hassle of additional scheduling and the delays incurred could have been avoided had the contract testing laboratory performed a test instrument verification that included the data loggers.

Equipment Status Prerequisite

The purpose of equipment status prerequisite testing is to ensure that the equipment being qualified is installed and ready for qualification. As with procedure verification, different requirements or specifications are typically desired for different sections of the qualification. For example, it might be necessary for the equipment to be set up, calibrated, and ready to run during a PQ. However, for the IQ, it's only necessary for the equipment to be installed. Another possible inclusion in equipment status verification is the availability of the equipment for use. Unlike process validation, which cannot begin until a process has been developed, equipment qualification protocols are sometimes written before the equipment is even received. As a result, a protocol can be ready for execution long before the equipment has arrived and been installed.

Recently, the qualification of a building management system at a medical device facility was scheduled to begin, and consultants were hired to execute the protocol. When the consultants arrived at the facility to begin the qualification, they found out that an ancillary electrical panel had not been installed because it was on back order. If the equipment status had been Tested prior to the qualification, the cost and time of the additional on-site visit by the consultants in order to reassemble the team could have been avoided.

Additional Benefits of Prerequisites

Documentation of prerequisites creates a system that actively tracks future problems, not just problems that have already occurred. When combined with the existing methods of identifying trouble areas of the quality system, prerequisites provide a little extra help in meeting the overall goal of preventing problems rather than just reacting to them.

Adding prerequisites to a validation or qualification program also helps OEMs prepare before an audit. By performing these simultaneous “spot checks” or verifications of the quality system, it is possible to generate trends in the quality system. The additional method of locating such holes and inconsistencies helps a company understand the areas to focus efforts prior to an audit instead of after an auditor has found the problems.


Incorporating prerequisites into an equipment qualification ensures that equipment is ready to run consistently and reliably. Moreover, it ensures that the equipment can pass the testing outlined in the protocol with fewer failures, investigations, or retesting. The ability of prerequisites to streamline the execution of a qualification, with the added bonus of the ways that they benefit a quality system, demonstrates the value of incorporating prerequisites into an equipment qualification. Having a clear understanding of the benefits and being able to apply them to your facility can ensure smooth, cost-effective qualification efforts.

Jennifer Medlar is a consultant for Advanced Biomedical Consulting LLC (ABC; St. Petersburg, FL), and Nancy Cafmeyer is a project manager at the company. Contact them at [email protected] and [email protected].

“Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Finished Pharmaceuticals,” Code of Federal Regulations, Part 211, Title 21, Rev. April 2006.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Guideline on General Principles of Process Validation,” Rockville, MD, 1987.

N Cafmeyer and JM Lewis, “Process Validation Prerequisites 101,” Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry, March 2008.

Copyright ©2009 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

Tue, 30 May 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Veteran Benefits for Assisted Living: What You Need to Know No result found, try new keyword!There are a range of benefits that may kick in depending on your specific service history and eligibility. Wigginton says that "the most commonly used benefits are the Aid & Attendance Pension and ... Wed, 26 Apr 2023 14:27:00 -0500 text/html Collecting Social Security Spousal Benefits

Spousal benefits are Social Security benefits that are based on your spouse’s work record instead of your own. In some circumstances, you’re eligible for spousal benefits even if you’ve divorced.

Your Social Security retirement benefit is typically based on your 35 highest-earning years of work. But, if your spouse earned significantly more or your work history is limited, you may get more money from spousal benefits. Read on to learn when you qualify for spousal benefits and how Social Security calculates your payments.

Who qualifies for Social Security spousal benefits?

To be eligible for spousal benefits if you’re currently married, all three of the following must apply:

  • You’ve been married for at least a year.
  • You’re at least 62, or you’re caring for your spouse’s disabled child who is younger than 16.
  • Your spouse currently receives retirement benefits.

If you’re at least 62 and your spouse hasn’t started receiving benefits yet, you can take your own retirement benefit and then claim their higher benefit once they file. This is a common Social Security planning strategy for couples.

However, you can’t take spousal benefits and switch to your own higher benefit unless one of the following applies:

  • You were born before Jan. 2, 1954.
  • You qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
  • You care for your spouse’s child who’s younger than 16 or disabled.

Social Security will deliver you either your own retirement benefit or spousal benefits, but not both.

As with retirement benefits, spousal benefits are taxable if your income exceeds certain thresholds. It’s important to plan for your taxes in retirement, no matter which type of benefit you expect to receive.

An infographic explaining the four qualifications needed to receive Social Security spousal benefits.

Image source: The Motley Fool

Calculating Social Security spousal benefits

Spousal benefits are based on your spouse’s primary insurance amount, which is the amount they’re eligible for at full retirement age (FRA). Depending on how old you are when you start Social Security, you can receive 32.5% to 50% of your spouse’s benefit.

If you wait until your full retirement age – which is 67 if you were born in 1960 or later – you’ll qualify for the 50% maximum. But if you claim as soon as you’re eligible at 62, you’d only receive 32.5% of their full benefit.

When you take your own retirement benefits, you can earn 8% delayed retirement credits for each year you wait past your full retirement age until you reach your benefit cap at age 70. However, you can’t earn delayed retirement credits when you’re taking spousal benefits. You’ll receive your maximum benefit once you reach full retirement age.

You also won’t earn extra if your spouse waits past their full retirement age. The rules are different for surviving spouses, as we’ll discuss shortly.

If you take spousal benefits, you won’t affect the benefits your husband or wife receives. Their benefit is based solely on their primary insurance amount and when they claim.

In the past, couples often maximized their Social Security by taking spousal benefits first and then switching to their own retirement benefits to get credit for delaying. But the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 eliminates this option unless you were born on or before Jan. 2, 1954, you have a disability and also qualify for spousal benefits, or you care for your spouse’s child who is younger than 16 or has a disability.

Divorced spouses

If you’re a divorced spouse, you may be eligible for spousal benefits. To qualify as a divorced spouse, the following rules apply:

  • Your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years.
  • You must have been divorced for at least two years.
  • You can’t be currently married.

Benefits for ex-spouses are the same as benefits for current spouses. The maximum divorced spouse benefit is 50% of your former spouse’s primary insurance amount if you wait until full retirement age. If you claim early, you’ll receive as little as 32.5%.

To receive divorced spouse benefits, both you and your ex need to be at least 62. However, unlike with benefits paid to current spouses, divorced spouse benefits don’t require your ex to actually be receiving benefits. As long as they’re at least 62 and meet Social Security’s minimum of 40 work credits, you can take spousal benefits if you meet the other requirements.

If you qualify for retirement benefits based on your own work record, Social Security will use your earnings to determine your benefits. Then your former spouse’s record will be used to qualify you for a bigger benefit if applicable.

As with spousal benefits, if a former spouse claims Social Security using your record, your benefits won’t be affected. There’s also no effect on your current spouse’s Social Security.

Social Security survivor benefits

When your spouse dies, you may be eligible for survivor benefits. You may also be eligible for your ex-spouse’s survivor benefits if you were married for at least 10 years or you care for their child who’s younger than 16 or disabled.

Survivor benefits are as much as 100% of the benefit the deceased worker was receiving when they died. If the person died before claiming benefits, the survivor benefit is based on their primary insurance amount.

To qualify for the full benefit, you still have to wait until your full retirement age. However, you can claim benefits as early as age 60 (or 50 if you’re disabled). If you claimed survivor benefits as soon as you’re eligible at age 60, you’d only receive 71.5% of your late spouse’s benefit. Surviving spouses or ex-spouses who are caring for a child younger than 16 or who has a disability can receive 75% of the deceased worker’s benefit.

If you remarry before age 60 (or 50 if you have a disability), you won’t qualify for survivor benefits. However, if you remarry after age 60 (or 50 if you’re disabled), remarrying won’t jeopardize your survivor benefits.

The bottom line on spousal benefits

Spousal benefits can boost your Social Security if your spouse earns significantly more than you. However, if you’re employed for most of your working years, you may still qualify for a bigger benefit on your own. If you’re wondering how much you’d qualify for on your own record or your spouse’s, you can create a my Social Security account to estimate your benefits and kickstart your retirement planning.

Related Retirement Topics

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Tue, 09 May 2023 03:44:00 -0500 Robin Hartill, CFP en text/html
Qualifications for IEEE Membership Membership in IEEE is open to individuals who by education or experience deliver evidence of competence in an IEEE designated field. The designated fields are: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy.

IEEE offers the following grades of membership: Student, Graduate Student, Associate, member, Senior member, and Fellow. The special categories of Life member, Young Professional, and Society Affiliate are also offered.

Tue, 03 May 2022 04:53:00 -0500 en text/html
Military and Veteran Benefits 2023 Military Pay Charts

Military pay will see a 4.6% increase for 2023 compared to 2022 levels, after President Joe Biden signs the new rate into law. These military pay tables apply to active members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.

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Benefits Overview

Drexel University is pleased to offer comprehensive and competitive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Benefits-eligible employees of Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences can enroll themselves and their dependents either upon hire (to be effective the first of the following month), during the open enrollment period or if they experience a qualified life event. Drexel strives to provide employees with happy and healthy lifestyles to foster a solid work-life balance. All employee benefits are explained throughout this section and listed in the table below.

To be eligible for Drexel’s health and welfare benefits, you must be employed in a benefits-eligible position on a regular University payroll and work at least 20 hours per week. Eligibility requirements for represented employees may vary by union contract. The benefit eligibility overview [PDF] includes eligibility criteria for all benefits and Drexel employees.

To enroll, waive or view benefits information, log in to the My Drexel Benefits portal under the Employee tab in DrexelOne.

Whom to Contact with Questions

Employees who have questions regarding their benefits may use the following contact options:

Benefits Structure

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What Are Fringe Benefits?

Fringe benefits are perks or extra compensation over and above regular salary. Some fringe benefits are for all the employees, whereas others are offered only to certain categories of employees. For instance, the amount of paid time off an employee receives is typically directly proportional with length of employment.

Most fringe benefits are taxable at fair market value but some benefits, such as health and life insurance, are nontaxable. As an employer you can choose to estimate total annual taxes payable by the employee and distribute it over every paycheck. Or, you can choose to deduct, collect and pay taxes once a year.

If you do not have enough HCM capabilities in-house, a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can help manage fringe benefits for your employees.

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How to Claim Social Security Survivor Benefits No result found, try new keyword!The claim for survivor payments can be made if the deceased was eligible to receive Social Security benefits. Read on to learn if you might qualify for survivor benefits and how much can be claimed. Wed, 11 Sep 2019 09:27:00 -0500 text/html Employee Benefits In 2023: The Ultimate Guide

There are four main types of employee benefits:

1. Health and wellness benefits

2. Financial and retirement benefits

3. Time-off and leave benefits

4. Work-life balance benefits

Health and wellness benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, prescription drug coverage, employee assistance programs and wellness programs. Financial and retirement benefits include 401(k) plans, pension plans, employee stock ownership plans, profit-sharing plans and financial planning assistance. Time-off and leave benefits include vacation days, sick days, paid holidays, parental leave and extended leave. Work-life balance benefits include flexible work arrangements, telecommuting, child care assistance and eldercare assistance.

There are some benefits that are required by law, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and Social Security. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to offer health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty. Employers should consult with an attorney or HR professional to ensure they are complying with all applicable laws.

Pension and Retirement Plans

Pension and retirement plans are employee benefits that help employees save for retirement. There are two types of retirement plans: defined benefit and defined contribution.

Defined benefit plans provide a source of income for retirees that is typically based on their years of service and salary history. This income is paid out in regular monthly payments. Defined contribution plans, on the other hand, allow employees to contribute a set amount of money to their retirement account each month. The employer may also make contributions to the employee’s account.

There are several different types of retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457 plans and pension plans. Each type of plan has different rules and regulations regarding employee eligibility, employee contributions and employer contributions.


401(k) plans are the most common type of retirement plan offered by employers. Under a 401(k) plan, employees can contribute a percentage of their salary to their retirement account each month. Employers may also make matching or discretionary contributions to employee accounts.


403(b) plans are similar to 401(k) plans, but they are available to employees of public schools and certain nonprofit organizations. Under a 403(b) plan, employees can contribute a percentage of their salary to their retirement account each month. Employers may also make matching or discretionary contributions to employee accounts.


457 plans are available to state and local government employees and employees of certain charitable organizations. Under a 457 plan, employees can contribute a percentage of their salary to their retirement account each month. Employers may also make matching or discretionary contributions to employee accounts.


Pension plans are defined benefit plans that provide a monthly income to retirees, usually based on their years of service and salary history. Pension plans are regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Healthcare and Dental Benefits

An employee benefit that helps pay for medical expenses is health insurance. Health insurance plans vary in terms of the services covered, the deductibles and copayments required and the premiums charged. Health insurance plans can be offered by employers, health insurance companies or the government.

There are several different types of health insurance plans, including PPOs, HMOs and HDHPs. PPOs allow employees to see any doctor or specialist without a referral. HMOs require employees to select a primary care physician who will coordinate their care. HDHPs have high deductibles but lower premiums.

An employee benefit that helps pay for dental care expenses is dental insurance. Dental insurance usually pays for preventive measures, such as teeth cleanings and X-rays, as well as common procedures such as fillings or a tooth removal. Some dental insurance plans also cover major procedures, such as crowns and bridges.

Employers can offer health insurance and dental insurance as part of a group health plan. A group health plan is an employee benefit plan that is sponsored by an employer and provides health and/or dental coverage to employees and their dependents.

Transgender Healthcare

Transgender-inclusive health benefits are employee benefits that cover medically necessary care for transgender employees. Depending on the provider, this type of coverage may include hormone therapy, mental healthcare and surgical procedures.

Healthcare discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age is prohibited by the ACA. However, at the time of publication, the ACA’s application to transgender individuals has been challenged in several pending court cases. The outcomes of those cases may affect whether employers are required to offer transgender-related healthcare as part of their employee health insurance plans. Considering how rapidly this space is changing, we recommend discussing these options with your benefits provider to ensure your healthcare coverage is compliant with current regulations.


Telemedicine, also known as telehealth, is the use of electronic communications to provide medical care from a distance. Telemedicine can be used for a variety of purposes, including diagnosing and treating patients, providing consultation to other healthcare providers and delivering distant learning opportunities. Telemedicine services are typically provided via video conferencing, but can also be delivered by phone, email or text message.

There are many potential benefits of telemedicine, including increased access to care, improved patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs. Telemedicine can also benefit employers by reducing employee absenteeism and increasing productivity.

Although telemedicine is not a new concept, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a significant increase in the use of telemedicine services. This is due in part to the fact that telemedicine can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

Fertility Benefits

Fertility benefits are employee benefits that help cover the costs of fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is a process by which eggs are harvested from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are then implanted in the woman’s uterus. Fertility benefits may also cover the costs of freezing eggs or sperm. This can be useful for employees who want to preserve their fertility for future use.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are medications that are prescribed by a doctor to treat a medical condition. Prescription drugs can be obtained from a pharmacy with a valid prescription. Employers often provide prescription drug coverage as part of a group health plan. This type of coverage typically pays for a portion of the cost of prescription drugs, with the employee paying the remainder.

Mental Health

Benefits that help cover the costs of mental healthcare are called mental health benefits. Mental healthcare includes counseling, treatment for mental illness and substance abuse treatment. Mental health benefits may be provided as part of a group health plan or as a separate employee benefit.

Employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of mental healthcare and are offering mental health benefits to their employees. This is due in part to the fact that mental health problems can have a significant impact on employee productivity and well-being.

Employee Assistance Program

An employee assistance program (EAP) is a type of benefit that gives confidential counseling and support services to workers who are having personal or work-related difficulties. Employee assistance programs can provide employees with support for a range of issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, financial troubles and relationship problems.

EAPs are typically provided by employee assistance professionals, who are trained to provide confidential counseling and support. EAPs can be accessed by employees through a variety of methods, including face-to-face meetings, telephone hotline numbers and online resources.

EAPs can be beneficial for both employees and employers. Employees can get the help they need to resolve personal or work-related problems, which can Strengthen their productivity and well-being. Employers can also benefit from lower employee turnover and absenteeism rates.

Paid Time Off

Paid time off (PTO) is leave that is provided to employees at no cost to the employee. PTO can be used for vacation, sick days, personal days or other purposes. Employers may offer PTO as a benefit to attract and retain employees. PTO can also help employees manage their work-life balance.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for specified family and medical reasons. It applies to employers with 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or preceding year. Many states also have laws requiring employers to provide certain types of paid leave, such as sick leave or family leave.

Employers typically offer PTO as part of a comprehensive employee benefits package. PTO is often one of the most popular employee benefits.

Child and Dependent Care Benefits

Employee benefits sometimes help cover the costs of child and dependent care. Child and dependent care benefits may be provided as part of a group health plan or as a separate employee benefit. These benefits can help employees with the costs of daycare, babysitters and other child care expenses.

Employers often offer child and dependent care benefits to attract and retain employees. Child care benefits can also help employees with young children manage their work-life balance. Some employers even offer on-site child care facilities.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial assistance to the beneficiaries of an employee who dies. Life insurance benefits may cover the cost of funeral expenses, debts and other final expenses.

To qualify for life insurance, employees must be enrolled in their employer’s life insurance plan. Life insurance benefits are typically paid to the employee’s beneficiaries upon their death.

Disability Insurance

​​Disability insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial assistance to employees who are unable to work because of a serious injury or illness. Disability insurance pays workers a percentage of their paychecks, helping them remain financially stable until they can return to their jobs.

To qualify for disability insurance, employees must be unable to work due to an injury or illness. Short-term disability insurance benefits are typically paid for up to 26 weeks. Five states and one territory require short-term disability insurance by law. These are California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico.

Thu, 25 May 2023 16:24:00 -0500 Kathy Haan en-US text/html

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