Retirement

Ex-Spouse Benefits And How They Affect You

February 15, 2018 • By

two women and child smiling 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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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

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  1. Deb Striker

    I was on disability until I turn 66 I have been divorced from my ex-husband for 13-14 years we were married for 36 years can I claim on his Social Security he is currently working he is 69 years old and I was told that I could not because I was on disability

    Reply
  2. Linda S Davis

    My income is 1346.per month. I live alone and been widowed for 13 years. Is too much to be entiled to ssi or to have my medcaid paid. I was married twice, both are deceased, do I get any ss from either husband?

    Reply
  3. Danelle

    I have 2 ex husband’s and was married to both for 12 years, I have been divorced from both for more than 5 years. My birth year is 1967. When I am ready to collect can I choose either ex husband’s benefit? My first ex will have the greater benefit.

    Reply

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