Does an Ex-Spouse get an Ex-Spouse’s Social Security Benefits?

Does an Ex-Spouse get an Ex-Spouse’s Social Security Benefits?

Ex-spouses are often entitled to receive social security in the amount of 50% of the value of their living ex-spouse’s benefits.

You can begin receiving 50% of the value ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits after divorce, depending on a few qualifications.

  • You must have been married for 10+ years
  • If you have not remarried (see exceptions below)
  • You must be 62 years old (or older)
  • The benefits from your ex-spouse must be more than the benefits you would receive on your own (or there is no point in applying)

It should be said that your ex-spouse must first be eligible to receive Social Security benefits before you will be considered to receive your 50% share.  If your ex-spouse is 62 or older and has not applied for benefits, but the two of you have been divorced for at least two years, you may still receive your share of his or her benefits.  Further, you will be entitled to receive 50% of your ex-spouse’s full social security benefits if you wait to begin collecting when you are due for your full retirement (between 66-67 years old, depending on when you were born).

Not all marital situations will make you ineligible for the 50% share of your ex-spouse’ social security benefits.  If you wait to get married until your are older than 60 years old, or if you are older than 50 but entitled to disability benefits, your marriage will not be regarded as a disqualifying factor for receipt of your share of your ex-spouse’s social security benefits.

NOTE:  The amount of benefits received by you from your ex-spouse’s social security will have no bearing on the amount of benefits received by your ex-spouse and his or her current spouse (if there is one or is going to be one).  Strange, but true.

Ready to apply? Check out these government websites:


Posted by Jane Baber, Mediation Assistant

1 Comment

  1. Sandi Weinberg

    Very interesting

    Sent from my iphone Sandi Weinberg Clifton Enrichments Clifton Jr. Tennis Academy 703-919-6203 Education Program Director Tennis Coach & Founder

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