In a previous post, we discussed Social Security (SS) Spousal Retirement benefits. Today, we will be discussing Social Security Divorced-Spouse Benefits.
1. The best way to explain how SS Divorced-Spouse benefits work is with the following two examples:
a. As with married couples, a spouse (Spouse A) is eligible for SS Divorced-Spouse benefits if
– Spouse A was married for at least 10 years to the ex-spouse (Spouse B).
– Spouse A is currently unmarried and is at least 62.
-Spouse B is at least 62 and has filed for SS Retirement benefits.
Under these circumstances, Spouse A can file for SS Divorced-Spouse benefits equal to a percentage of Spouse B’s SS Retirement pension. So, if Spouse A files at her full retirement age (for Baby Boomers, this is between ages 66 and 67 depending on birth year), then she will receive the full SS Divorced-Spouse benefit amount. However, if Spouse A files before her full retirement age (but no earlier than age 62), then the SS Divorced-Spouse benefit will be a permanently reduced amount.
b. If a divorced spouse has worked, then he/she is also eligible for a SS Retirement pension. (This applies to all persons who’ve paid Social Security taxes during their working years regardless of marital status.) However, under no circumstances may anyone collect a SS Retirement pension and a SS Divorced-Spouse pension at the same time. It’s either one or the other.
2. You should also know that
– if Spouse B has more than one ex-spouse,
– and he was married to each of those ex-spouses for more than 10 years,
– then each of the ex-spouses is eligible for SS Divorced-Spouse benefits (based on the criteria in 1.a. above).
Getting Legal Help
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