Can I Get Retroactive Benefits On My Ex-Husband's Record?

Apr 17 2017 - 5:26pm

Hi Larry,
about a week ago I found out I qualified to receive my ex-husbands benefit. I qualified for disability about 5 1/2 years ago. Can I get my ex -husbands benefit retried back to that date or back 2 years from age 60? Thank you so much. Karen

Hi Karen,

You don't state whether or not your ex-husband is living, so I can't properly answer your question. You can't get divorced spousal benefits on a living ex-spouse until you are at least age 62. However, it's possible to qualify for disabled surviving divorced spouse's benefits as early as age 50. But, you must apply for the benefits in order to become entitled to them.

If your ex-husband was deceased at the time you applied for disability benefits, and if the benefit rate on his record was higher than your own, it's possible that your application for disability benefits would be protective for surviving divorced spousal benefits. In that case, Social Security may be able to pay you back pay for any additional benefits to which you may have been entitled.

No retroactivity is allowed on applications for either divorced spousal benefits or surviving divorced spousal benefits if you apply for reduced benefits prior to full retirement age. However, up to 12 months of retroactivity is allowed for disabled surviving divorced spousal benefits (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200204030).

Best, Jerry