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Could You Receive Social Security Benefits Based On Your Ex’s Work History?

If you are divorced, it’s possible that your ex may receive benefits based on your work history. This can even be the case if you are remarried. If you aren’t sure how this is possible or if you have never considered the situation a possibility, you definitely need to learn more about it.  

An Ex Can Receive Social Security Benefits Based On Your Work Record If:

  • Your marriage was 10+ years,
  • Your ex is ummarried,
  • Your ex is 62 or older,
  • The benefit your ex is entitled to receive based on their own work history is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work history AND
  • You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

If You Have Not Applied for Benefits:

If you have not applied for benefits, but you would qualify, you ex can obtain benefits based on your work record if you have been divorced for a minimum of two years.

If Your Ex is Eligible for Retirement Benefits Of Their Own:

If your ex is eligible for retirement benefits based on their own work history, they will receive payment for those benefits first. If the benefit on your record is higher, then your ex may receive an additional sum based on your record so that the combination of the benefits equals the higher amount.

Divorced individuals who were born prior to January 2, 1954 who have already reached full retirement age can choose to receive only their divorced spouse’s benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until a later date in time. Individuals born after January 2, 1954 no longer have this option. If an individual born after January 2, 1954 files for benefits, they are effectively filing for all retirement and spousal benefits simultaneously.

If an ex is still employed while receiving benefits, the same earnings limits apply to them as to you. If an ex is eligible for benefit this year and is working, those earnings could affect benefit payments. If an ex is also going to receive a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (i.e. government work, etc.) it could affect the Social Security benefit on your record.

The amount of benefits your ex receives does not affect the amount of benefits that you or your current spouse receive.

If you are worried about how divorce is going to affect your retirement or if you are unsure what to expect regarding your retirement benefits after your divorce, please get in touch with one of the experienced California divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.



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