Do I qualify to receive social security benefits of my ex-spouse?

Posted on Nov 02, 2015 By Mary Pool

Attorney Mary PoolMaybe.  You may qualify for social security benefits of your ex-spouse if you meet all of the following requirements:

You must:

  • Have been married for at least 10 years,
  • Be at least 62 years old;
  • Unmarried; and
  • Your social security record shows that you qualify for lower benefits than what you would receive under your ex-spouse’s benefits.

To receive benefits, you would provide your marriage certificate, divorce decree and proof of age to the Social Security Administration to determine whether receiving benefits under your ex-spouse would be an option.  Your ex-spouse is not involved at all with making the determination whether you qualify to receive a higher benefit from his/her benefits.  Depending upon when you request these benefits, the Social Security Administration may draw from your benefits first then pull the remaining amount from your ex-spouse’s benefits so that you receive the higher benefit amount.

If you have remarried since your divorce from your ex-spouse, you may still receive benefits if you are no longer married and your subsequent marriage ends by death, divorce, or annulment.

If you qualify to receive benefits under your ex-spouse, it is important to point out that the amount of benefits paid to you will not affect your ex-spouse or his/her current spouse benefits.  Therefore, if your ex-spouse has remarried, you may still qualify for his/her social security benefits, if you meet all of the above criteria.

If you have a question whether you qualify for your ex-spouse’s benefits, you can use the Retirement Planner tool on the Social Security Administration’s website found here.   If you are approaching retirement age and are able to qualify to receive a higher social security benefit from drawing from your ex-spouse, we encourage you to discuss those options with the Social Security Administration.

At Bond & Botes, we are attorneys providing financial solutions.