Can My Ex-Spouse Get Benefits On My Record?

Mar 17 2017 - 6:15am

Hi,
My ex-husband is 67 and begin collecting Social Security at age 62. He has never remarried. I am 62 and have not begun to collect. My FRA benefit is significantly larger than his. Can he reapply for ex-spousal benefits to receive a higher amount? If so would in be 50% of my FRA benefit?
We were married for 24 years and have been divorced for 17.

Thank you

Hi,

Your ex may be entitled to divorced spousal benefits on your record, but only if 50% of your full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) is higher than his own PIA. In that case, he could be eligible for the difference in those amounts, in addition to his own reduced retirement benefits. It's too late for him to get a do-over on his decision to file at age 62 on his own record, though, since you can only withdraw a claim for reduced retirement benefits for up to a year after the entitlement date (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/withdrawal.html).

For example, say John has a PIA of $800, but starts drawing his benefits at age 62 at a reduced rate of $600. When John is 67, his ex-wife, Mary, turns age 62 and John becomes eligible for a divorced spousal benefit. Mary's PIA is $2000, so John's excess divorced spousal benefit is $200 (i.e. $2000/2 - $800). That is then added to his reduced retirement benefit to give John a combined benefit rate of $800.

Best, Jerry