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Can I Receive Social Security Benefits Through My Ex-Spouse?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage gray divorce lawyer

While divorce can be difficult at any age, a person who is over the age of 50 may face some unique issues when they end their marriage. If you are considering a gray divorce, financial issues are likely to be some of your key concerns. You will want to make sure you will have the resources you will need to support yourself, including after your retirement. One issue that you will want to be aware of is whether you can qualify for Social Security benefits based on the amount that your ex-spouse will be able to receive after retiring.

Social Security for Divorced Spouses

The amount a person can receive through Social Security is based on their work history. If you do not have a significant work history, or if your ex-spouse earned the majority of your family’s income during your marriage, the amount of benefits you can receive based on your own work history may be limited. However, you may be able to receive benefits based on the amount that your ex-spouse will receive upon retirement.

If you were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years, you have been divorced for at least two years, and you are not currently married, you will be able to receive Social Security benefits in the amount of 50% of the benefits that your ex-spouse is eligible to receive. This will not be in addition to the amount you qualify for on your own, so you will only receive benefits through your ex-spouse if 50% of their benefit is higher than your own benefit.

You can begin collecting Social Security benefits through your ex-spouse once your spouse reaches the eligible age, regardless of whether they have begun collecting benefits. You will be eligible to collect these benefits once you reach the age of 62. However, if you have not yet reached the retirement age defined by Social Security based on the year you were born, your benefits will be reduced permanently. By delaying your retirement and the collection of benefits, you can receive a higher amount of benefits throughout the rest of your lifetime.

If your ex-spouse dies, you can receive survivor’s benefits as long as you were married to them for at least 10 years. These benefits will pay 100 percent of the amount the deceased person would have received after their retirement. You may begin receiving these benefits once you reach retirement age, or you may receive reduced benefits after you reach the age of 60. If you get remarried at the age of 60 or later, this will not affect your ability to receive survivor’s benefits.

Contact Our Kane County Divorce Attorneys for Social Security Benefits

If you are planning to get divorced later in life, you will want to understand your options for addressing your ongoing financial needs. At Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group, we can help you understand your eligibility for Social Security benefits, and we can work with you to negotiate a divorce settlement that will meet your needs both now and in the future. Contact our Geneva gray divorce lawyers today at 630-634-5050 to set up a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/081815/can-divorced-woman-collect-social-security-her-exhusband.asp

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/survivors/ifyou.html#h3

 

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10147.pdf

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