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Social Security & Ex Spousal Benefits

One of the most asked questions people have about Social Security is “are you able to receive half of your ex spouse’s Social Security benefits?” There is a simple answer to this. To sum it up,yes and for an ex spouse, the maximum in which you could collect would be half of social security benefits your spouse possesses. Spousal benefits are another social security “secret” most people do not know about and are not taking advantage of. These benefits are also available for those both married and divorced With this in mind, there are however a few key requirements that need to be met for you to qualify for this opportunity. Let’s dive into this and break it all down.

The key requirements that need to be met include:

  • The ex spouse who is applying is at least 62 years old
  • The ex spouse receiving these benefits is not remarried,

and the other spouse is fully eligible for Social Security benefits

  • Your past marriage must have lasted at least 10 years total
  • The divorce has lasted at least 2 years

Once this list of criteria has been met, the benefit payment you will be receiving is based off of the past work years and earnings in which your spouse experienced. An important note to add is that if you are to apply for ex-spouse social security benefits, you can not also receive the full amount for your own social security benefits. The good news is that if you personally are eligible for Social Security benefits and they are lower than what you would be receiving from your ex spouses, the Social Security Administration will adjust your payment to equal what your spouses would be if it is higher than yours based on their record. 

For those who lose their spouse, survivor benefits are available. The age in which you can file for this benefit the earliest is 60 years old. This benefit is also available for those who have been divorced and or their ex-spouse has passed away. An important note to keep in mind is how your benefits can be affected significantly if you have not yet reached your FRA and decided to collect these benefits. This is significant because it can be permanent. This can be avoided however if you have a child that meets the requirements.

We urge you to seek the proper help and attempt to see if you are eligible for such a helpful type of benefit. Nearing your elderly years and approaching retirement can be a stressful time period, so help set your retirement years up properly and see if you’re eligible for any extra benefits through Social Security.