Even if you’re divorced, you could still be entitled to spousal Social Security benefits.
If you are married or divorced you have an advantage when it comes to Social Security benefits. It’s called the “spousal benefit”. It allows the spouse who earned less money and contributed lower amounts to Social Security to collect up to 50% of the higher earning spouse’s Social Security benefit at full retirement age.
Let’s say wife’s benefit at full retirement age is $2,000/month but husband’s benefit is only $750/month based on his own work history. In this example, the husband, as the lower earning spouse, can elect to collect the spousal benefit of $1,000/month at full retirement age – getting $250 more each month.
Even divorced persons have the ability to collect Social Security spousal benefits based on their former spouse’s earnings if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Your marriage lasted at least 10 years
- You are currently not married
- You are 62 years old or older
- Your former spouse is entitled to Social Security benefits
- Your own benefit is less than the benefit you would get based on your ex-spouse’s work history
Other factors may affect your ability to get spousal Social Security benefits. Visit the Social Security Administration’s website – ssa.gov for more information.