Tuesday, August 2, 2016

WORK AND JOBS: Divorce and Social Security Spousal Benefits

You may qualify for Social Security benefits from a previous marriage even after you are divorced.

1)     If you have been married 10 years and are divorced (and not remarried) you qualify for spousal benefits.
2)     The Social Security law is gender neutral so the law applies to men and women.
3)     The amount you receive has no effect on the amount your former spouse receives.  (It also takes no benefits from a new spouse of your former spouse.)
4)     You must be age 62 or older.
5)     If you qualify for Social Security benefits based on your own work record it may be lower than the benefit you can receive through your former spouse.  You may choose whichever benefit is higher but not both.
6)     You may begin receiving benefits even if your spouse has not elected to receive his or hers.
7)     The amount you receive depends on how much your former spouse qualifies for.  Your amount is 50% of your former spouse’s benefit.
8)     If your former spouse died you would have to meet the following conditions to collect:
a.      You are 60 or older, or 50 if you are disabled.
b.     Your marriage was 10 years
c.      Your own retirement benefit is lower than what you would receive through your former spouse’s recwayord.

There are more rules regarding children’s rights to Social Security and people with multiple marriages.  To learn more or to see more detail, go online to Social Security:  http://www.ssa.gov or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

You will need documents including your birth certificate, marriage license and death certificate, where applicable.