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What you need to know about Social Security benefits and divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2021 | Divorce |

Each year, many married couples living in New York decide that it’s time to get divorced. If you’re getting divorced in the later years of your life, this situation can present all sorts of new challenges, one of which is not knowing whether you’re able to claim your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits.

Eligibility requirements to receive Social Security

Before you can start collecting on the Social Security record of your former spouse, you’ll need to meet a few criteria. Here are the eligibility requirements to receive Social Security benefits after your divorce:

  • Your former spouse must meet all the requirements to receive Social Security benefits.
  • You’re at least 62 years old.
  • You’re currently single.
  • Your marriage with your former spouse lasted at least 10 years.
  • The benefit you receive based on your work history is less than what you’d receive based on the work history of your former spouse.

How much of your ex-spouse’s account are you entitled to?

Once you know whether you can collect Social Security benefits from an ex-spouse, it’s understandable to wonder how much you can receive. After a divorce, an eligible person can receive up to 50% of what their ex-spouse would receive in Social Security benefits. Keep in mind that this amount is not in addition to the benefit you’d receive. To receive the most money, you must wait until you reach the age of 62.

As you can see, it’s possible to receive Social Security benefits from your former spouse after getting divorced, but you may have other questions about the divorce process. If you’d like help during this confusing time, reach out to a family law attorney.