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Claiming Social Security From Your Ex-Spouse’s Record

With divorce for older couples increasing, some older residents in New York will find themselves worried about how they will support themselves during retirement. For older couples, divorce could significantly affect their retirement plans. However, depending on how long the marriage lasted and what happens after the couple divorces, some residents will be able to claim Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouse’s record.

Meeting the conditions

To claim Social Security benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record after the end of the marriage, you will need to meet a set of specific conditions. These include the following:

  • The length of the marriage was at least 10 years.
  • Your age is at least 62.
  • Your ex-spouse must qualify to receive benefits even if they are not claiming them.
  • You must remain single; remarrying will disqualify you from claiming the benefits.
  • You still meet income limits if you are working while receiving benefits.

Meeting these conditions, and some additional ones depending on your situation, will allow you access to claim Social Security based on your ex-spouse’s record. However, you would receive a benefit that equals 50% of what your ex-spouse will receive. You can, of course, claim benefits based on your own record, but if receiving 50% of the amount your ex-spouse will receive is higher, you can opt to receive the Social Security benefits based on their record. Even if your ex-spouse remarries, you can still claim the benefits.

Can you receive survivor’s benefits?

If your ex-spouse dies and you met the 10-year marriage requirement, you might be able to receive survivor’s benefits. In this case, if you remarry after you turned 60, you might still be able to receive the benefit. However, with both types of benefits, to receive the full amount you can qualify for, you must have reached full retirement age as well.




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