Approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce. Divorce can affect many aspects of a person’s life. One aspect that most people do not even consider is their social security benefits. A divorced spouse can receive up to 50% of their ex-spouse’s social security benefit.
According to the Social Security Administration, if you have not applied for retirement benefits but can qualify for them, and you have been divorced for at least two years, then you can tap into your spouse’s social security as long as you meet certain requirements such as:
1. Your marriage lasted at least ten (10) years;
2. Your ex-spouse is unmarried;
3. Your ex-spouse is at least 62 years of age;
4. If the benefit the ex-spouse could receive based on his/her work is less than the benefit he/she would receive based on your work.
5. You are entitled to receive social security or disability benefits.
It is important to note that if you are remarried you generally will not be allowed to collect on your ex-spouse’s benefits. However, if your remarriage ends, you will still be allowed to collect. There are several other points to consider in excess of the above-listed requirements.
If you are eligible to receive your ex-spouse’s benefits, if your ex-spouse is working while receiving benefits, the earning limits that apply to your ex-spouse apply to you as well. The amount of the benefit can also be affected if your ex-spouse is receiving a pension that is not covered by social security. To further explore your eligibility requirements, it is always a good idea to contact an attorney.