Ex-Spouse Benefits And How They Affect You

Just like during tax season, it’s good to have all the information you need early so you can prepare and get any money you are due.

If you are age 62, unmarried, and divorced from someone entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on his or her record. To be eligible, you must have been married to your ex-spouse for 10 years or more. If you have since remarried, you can’t collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ended by annulment, divorce, or death. Also, if you’re entitled to benefits on your own record, your benefit amount must be less than you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work. In other words, we’ll pay the higher of the two benefits for which you’re eligible, but not both.

You can apply for benefits on your former spouse’s record even if he or she hasn’t retired, as long as you divorced at least two years before applying. If, however, you decide to wait until full retirement age to apply as a divorced spouse, your benefit will be equal to half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement amount or disability benefit. The same rules apply for a deceased former spouse.

The amount of benefits you get has no effect on the benefits of your ex-spouse and his or her current spouse. Visit Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced to find all the eligibility requirements you must meet to apply as a divorced spouse. Our benefits planner gives you an idea of your monthly benefit amount. If your ex-spouse died after you divorced, you may still quality for widow’s benefits. You’ll find information about that in a note at the bottom of the website.

Visit Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced today to learn whether you’re eligible for benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. That could mean a considerable amount of monthly income. What you learn may bring a smile to your face … even on tax day!

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Social Security Celebrates Black History Month

In February, we honor African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Created in 1926, this event coincides with Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays. African American communities have celebrated these birthdays together for over 90 years.

Honoring our shared history is one way we can remember that we believe in freedom and democracy for all. Another shared belief is that we all deserve a comfortable retirement, free of economic hardship. Continue reading

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4 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Plan for Retirement

Deciding when to start receiving your retirement benefits from Social Security is a decision that only you can make, and you should make that decision with as much information as possible. There are a lot of important questions to answer.

Should you claim benefits earlier and get a smaller monthly payment for more years? Or should you wait and get a bigger monthly amount over a shorter period?

There are no right or wrong answers, but we encourage you to consider these four important questions as you plan for your financially secure retirement: Continue reading

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5 Ways Social Security Protects You and Your Family

Next payday, when you see a portion of your wages go toward FICA taxes, rest easier knowing that your investment in Social Security brings a lifetime of protections for you and your family.

From your first job and throughout your career, we track your earnings and give you credits for the contributions you’ve made through payroll taxes. Those credits can translate into important future benefits. As you prepare for a financially secure future, you should know about these five benefits that you, your spouse, and your children may become eligible for through Social Security: Continue reading

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Celebrating Our Nation’s Diversity

January 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday and a day of remembrance. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to creating and fostering equal rights for African Americans, and he died during his efforts to make his dream a reality.

Diversity of skills, knowledge, and perspective is what you want when putting together a strong team. In a way, America is a super team of diverse members, all of whom dream of prosperity and success. Many people honor Martin Luther King, Jr. for dedicating his life to showing us that diversity is a strength. Continue reading

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Social Security’s Top Five Blog Posts

This blog is a go-to source for Social Security news and resources. That’s why we named it Social Security Matters — it matters to everyone, even if you don’t think you directly benefit from Social Security benefits today.

The popularity of our blog has grown. We’d like to share some of our most popular posts with you so you can share what you’ve learned with your friends and loved ones. Here are five of our top posts. Continue reading

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Social Security’s Gift to Children is Security

During the holiday season, most of us, regardless of religion or beliefs, focus on the children we love. Caring for children is one of the best ways to safeguard the future. And we at Social Security know a thing or two about helping children.

The application for a Social Security number and card is sometimes overlooked in the paperwork that parents fill out in preparation for a child’s birth. Typically, the hospital will ask new mothers if they want to apply for a Social Security number for their newborn as part of the birth registration process. This is the easiest and fastest way to apply. The Social Security card typically arrives about a week to ten days after that little bundle of joy! You can learn about Social Security numbers for children by reading our publication, Social Security Numbers for Children. Continue reading

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Get to Know Your Social Security

Social Security touches the lives of nearly every American. We’ve been with you from day one, when your parents applied for your Social Security number, and we are with you from your first job through your retirement party and beyond.

For more than 80 years, Social Security has stayed true to its mission of providing financial protection for the American people and has served as one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in our nation’s history. We encourage everyone to take steps toward their financial security. Regardless of your age or place in life, now is the right time to start planning for a financially secure future for you and your family. Continue reading

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