A married couple typically plans their financial future together. This means that one spouse–particularly one who has not worked during the course of the marriage, instead staying home to raise a family–is likely counting on the ability to receive Social Security benefits on the record of their spouse. However, if this couple divorces, what happens? Does the non-income earning spouse sacrifice the right to collect benefits on the record of their (now) ex-spouse?
Not necessarily – in many cases, individuals are able to collect an ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits.
If you are divorced, you may be wondering whether or not you can collect benefits on the record of your ex-spouse. The only time that you may not be able to do this is in the case that:
Assuming that you meet the criteria for claiming Social Security benefits on the record of your ex-spouse, you can begin claiming these benefits at age 62. This is true even if:
However, just because you may be eligible to claim your Social Security benefits as soon as you turn age 62 does not necessarily mean that you should do so, especially if you are still working and earning an income. If you start claiming your benefits before reaching your full retirement age, your benefit amount will be reduced, and if you are working, the Social Security Administration will take $1 for every $2 earned from your benefit amount, once you pass an income limit. However, if you wait until reaching full retirement age (or beyond) to start claiming your benefits, your benefit amount will increase and if you are still working, the Social Security Administration will set a higher income limit, and will take $1 for every $3 earned.
If you are eligible for benefits both on your own record and the record of your ex-spouse, you will be paid yours first. If the benefit on your spouse’s record is higher, you will be given an additional amount to make up for the difference.
If you think that you are eligible for Social Security benefits on the record of your ex-spouse, you no doubt have myriad questions about the process and how to maximize your benefit amount. Luckily, at Harvest Social Security QA, we have answers. Further, we host free information sessions and Social Security workshops for members of the Dyer community. You can learn more about these workshops, and sign up to attend one near you, through our website.
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