Am I Able To Collect Social Security From My Ex-Husband?

Jul 24 2017 - 8:00am

I was married for 21 years and have been divorced for 21. I retired from teaching with a pension but no social security as I only earned 37 quarters with odd jobs. Am I able to collect social security from my ex husband. I was told that if my pension is more than what I would collect from my ex husband's social security, the ss benefit from my husband is cancelled out. Is this accurate?

Hi,

If 2/3rds of the amount of your teacher's pension is higher than your divorced spousal rate, your divorced spousal benefits would likely be reduced to zero due to the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision. For more information on the GPO provision, refer to this Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf.

Note, however, that you could still potentially qualify for Medicare at age 65 on the basis of technical entitlement as a divorced spouse even if your monthly benefits are reduced to zero.

Best, Jerry