Your Social Security – Ex-Spouse Benefits, Taxes And You

Your Social Security – Ex-Spouse Benefits, Taxes And You

Photo of Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay

If you are age 62, unmarried and divorced from someone entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on his or her record. To be eligible, you must have been married to your ex-spouse for 10 years or more. If you have since remarried, you cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ended by annulment, divorce or death. Also, if you are entitled to benefits on your own record, your benefit amount must be less than you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work. In other words, we will pay the higher of the two benefits for which you are eligible, but not both.

You can apply for benefits on your ex-spouse’s record even if he or she hasn’t yet retired, as long as you divorced at least two years before applying. The same rules apply for a deceased former spouse.

The amount of benefits you get has no effect on the benefits of your ex-spouse and his or her current spouse. Visit Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm to find all the eligibility requirements you must meet to apply as a divorced spouse. Our benefits planner gives you an idea of your monthly benefit amount. If your ex-spouse died after you divorced, you can still quality for widow’s benefits. You’ll find information about that in a note at the bottom of the website.

Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm to learn whether you are eligible for benefits on your ex-spouse’s record.

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