As a divorced spouse, you my be entitled to receive Social Security benefits based upon your ex’s earning hsitory if you meet a number of criteria. This is true, even if your spouse remarries (However, you may not remarry):
- Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer;
- You are unmarried;
- Your are 62 or older;
- The benefit that you would be entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit your ex-spouse would receive based on their work; and
- They are also entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.If your ex-spouse has not yet applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you can still receive benefits on your their if you have been divorced for at least two years.
If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on their record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment).
If you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record, Social Security will pay that amount first. But if
- the benefit on your ex-spouse’s record is a higher amount, you will get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount (reduced for age).
- you have eached full retirement age and are eligible for a spouse’s benefit and your own retirement benefit, you have a choice.You can choose to receive only the your benefits now and delay receiving retirement benefits until a later date. If retirement benefits are delayed, a higher benefit may be received at a later date based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.
- continues to work while receiving benefits, the same earnings limits apply to you as to your ex-spouse. If you are eligible for benefits this year and is also working, you can use our earnings test calculator to see how those earnings would affect those benefit payments.
- will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, your Social Security benefit on your ex-spouses record may be affected.
The amount of benefits your divorced spouse gets has no effect on the amount of benefits you or your current spouse may receive.