Did you know that as a divorced spouse you may be entitled to collect both spousal (your ex is living) benefits and survivor (your ex is deceased) retirement benefits on your ex-partner’s employment record. This is true regardless of whether your ex has remarried. This can be especially beneficial if you were the lower earning spouse because you may be able to receive a larger Social Security Benefit based on your ex-spouse’s work record than you can on your own.
To qualify for either spousal or survivor Social Security benefits as an e-spouse, the following criteria must be met:
- The marriage lasted 10 years or longer
- You ex-spouse is at least 62 years of age and is eligible to receive benefits based on his or her work history
- You are at least 62 years old to qualify for spousal benefits or 60 years old for survivor benefits
- You are unmarried (there are some limited exceptions to this rule). However, if your current marriage ends as a result of death, divorce or annulment, you would be eligible again.
- You are not entitled to receive a higher Social Security benefit based on your employment earnings.
The rules and eligibility criteria for Social Security are complicated and vary depending upon the type of benefit you plan to collect.
The attorneys at Phillips, Gerstein & Channen are here to help you. If you have questions about Social Security and divorce schedule an appointment with us!