Can I Claim Spousal Social Security Benefits Even Though I'm Divorced?
Reaching sixty is a financial turning point, as many seniors elect to start drawing social security benefits at that age. For divorced seniors it becomes very important to know if they can draw social security benefits based on a divorced spouse’s work history. Such a benefit is known as a spousal benefit.
What Is A Spousal Benefit?
Social Security benefits can be based on either the work record of the recipient or the work record of the recipient’s spouse. The latter is a spousal benefit.
How Much Is A Spousal Benefit?
A spousal benefit constitutes half of what the spouse’s social security benefits are based on that spouse’s work history.
Are Spousal Benefits Better?
Obviously, if a spouse’s total life earnings are high enough for fifty percent of their social security benefit payments to be of greater value than one hundred percent of the social security payments based on a recipient’s own work history, than spousal benefits are preferable.
Are Divorced Individuals Allowed To Draw Spousal Benefits?
The general answer is yes, provided both parties are at least sixty-years of age and were married a minimum of ten years.
Are There Stipulations That Limit The Collection Of Spousal Benefits For Divorced Social Security Benefits Recipients?
Yes. Claiming spousal benefits will not work if the spouse in question was already drawing benefits prior to the divorce.
What About Remarriage?
An unmarried Social Security beneficiary can still draw spousal benefits based on a remarried spouse’s work history.
Does It Matter If The Spouse Is Not Yet Drawing Social Security Benefits?
If the spouse in question has reached legal retirement age, that is sixty-two, than the answer is no, provided the recipient and former spouse have been divorced a minimum of two years.