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Understand your retirement benefit rights after divorce

| Apr 10, 2019 | Social Security Disability

As someone who has divorced but who spent over a decade married to your ex-spouse, you may be concerned about how you’ll receive your retirement or other benefits in the future. The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows you to seek benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record in several instances, so that you can still get the most out of your time together.

You may be able to seek a benefit that is equal to half of what your ex-spouse will receive from Social Security Disability (SSD) or retirement benefits if you decide to receive your benefits when you reach retirement.

Who qualifies for benefits based on their ex-spouse’s work history or disability benefits?

You may be able to qualify for benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work history if you can show that you:

  • Have remained unmarried
  • Your ex-spouse receives or is entitled to SSD benefits or Social Security retirement benefits
  • Your potential benefit, which is based on your own work, is less than what you’d receive based on your ex-spouse’s work record
  • You are at least 62 years old

Can you receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work if you remarry?

No, instead you should seek benefits based on your current spouse’s work history or your own. If you remarry, you lose the right to seek benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work history.

It can be complicated to know which benefits you’re entitled to and which you should seek out when you reach retirement and have been divorced. Your attorney can sit down with you and discuss your options, so you know what to expect.