Can I Collect Social Security From My Ex?

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Retirement can come with many perks but also many disadvantages. As a United States citizen, when you reach a certain age and are retired you will be eligible to receive retirement income in the form of social security payments. If your spouse made a significantly higher income than you their social security benefits will likely be greater than yours. You may be entitled to collect social security from the government through your current or ex-spouse. A Suffolk County divorce attorney can offer assistance during your divorce and answer questions about your rights.

What is Social Security?

Social Security is a United States federal program that provides an income for workers after retirement. It was created to ensure the economic security of American citizens and is designed to offer retirees over the age of 65 an income.

How much social security income you receive after retiring is based on many factors including your earnings over your lifetime, the age you will start receiving social security benefits, and whether you are able to receive a spouse’s benefit as opposed to your own. Some people may wish to receive social security through their spouse or ex-spouse’s income if it is a higher number than their own.

Calculate your retirement benefits using your own earnings from your life. Then calculate your ex-spouse’s benefits using their earning record and divide it in half. Even though you are only eligible for half of the amount of benefits they receive, that might still be more money than the total of your benefits depending on the jobs you have had.

Who is Eligible to Collect Social Security From an Ex-Spouse?

After a divorce, you may believe that you are no longer entitled to any financial benefits from being married to your partner. However, you may still be able to claim social security via your ex’s income. Not every divorced person will be able to, but generally, if any of the following three are accurate to your situation you may be eligible to collect social security through your ex-spouse.

  • You were married for at least 10 years
  • You remarried but your second marriage ended in a divorce, annulment, or the death of your partner
  • You are at least 62 years of age

If any of the above apply to you you can look into receiving social security benefits through your ex.

How Can I Receive Social Security Benefits Through My Ex?

One of the most important things to note when discussing receiving social security benefits through an ex-spouse is that you are not taking anything away from your ex or their new spouse if they have one. They will still continue to receive the same amount of benefits that they would have.

To receive social security benefits through your ex you don’t even need to contact them or speak with them at all. Simply apply for divorced spousal benefits online, on the phone, or at the nearest Social Security office. You will need to provide the following information.

  • Your ex-spouse’s name
  • Your ex-spouse’s date of birth
  • The date and location of your marriage
  • The date and details of your divorce

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