Can you collect Social Security based on your ex’s work record?

| Mar 26, 2021 | Divorce |

Oftentimes when a couple in Long Island is married, one spouse will choose to stay out of the workforce to raise the family. However, when a couple in such a situation is married for 10 years or more, and later decide to divorce, this puts the stay-at-home spouse at a disadvantage, as they have a large gap in their work history and fewer years in the workforce. This is especially true if they are at or nearing retirement. In such situations, the stay-at-home spouse may be able to collect Social Security benefits based on their ex’s work record.

When can you collect Social Security benefits based on your ex’s work record?

You can collect Social Security benefits based on your ex’s work record under the following circumstances. First, you must not have remarried following your divorce. Second, you must have been married to your ex for at least 10 years. Third, your ex must still be alive. Finally, two years must have gone by since your divorce was finalized. In this situation, you may be able to collect up to 50% of your ex’s benefits once both you and your ex are eligible to begin collecting Social Security benefits.

Debunking some misconceptions about collecting based on your ex’s record

First, collecting based on your ex’s record will not affect how much your ex is able to collect. Moreover, if your ex remarried, collecting benefits based on your ex’s record will not impact their current spouse’s benefits either. Second, you do not need your ex’s permission to collect benefits based on their work record. In fact, your ex may not even know you are collecting benefits based on their work record.

Third, as long as you are age 62 or older, you can start collecting benefits based on your ex’s record even if your spouse has not been claiming benefits yet. The key is that your ex is eligible for benefits. Finally, you do not need to choose between collecting based on your work record or collecting based on your ex’s work record. Social Security will grant you what you are eligible for based on your work record and then use your ex’s work record to make up the difference.

Learn more about your rights following a divorce

If you are divorced, you may have many concerns about your rights. Ultimately this post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. To learn more about your options and rights in a divorce, you can visit our firm’s divorce webpage for further information.

 

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