Ask Larry

Am I Entitled To Spousal Retirement?

I'm 65 yes old my ex husband is 74 and just fully retired. For years he's been collecting a disability check but he also worked. After 15 yes we divorced in 2012 I was a homemaker and now stay with my daughter. Am I entitled to spousal retirement

Hi. It sounds like you can probably qualify for divorced spousal benefits. The full requirements for divorced spousal benefits are outlined in the following section of Social Security's handbook: A person can only qualify for divorced spousal benefits on the account of a living ex-spouse if their ex-spouse's primary insurance amount (PIA) is more than twice as much as their own PIA, but if you aren't eligible for Social Security based on your own work record that wouldn't be an issue in your case.

If you are at least full retirement age (FRA) when you start drawing divorced spousal benefits you can be paid up to 50% of you ex-spouse's PIA. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing their benefits at full retirement age (FRA). If you were born in 1955 your FRA would be age 66 & 2 months, but if you were born in 1956 your FRA would be age 66 & 4 months. You could choose to start drawing your divorced spousal benefits now, but if you start drawing any time prior to your FRA your benefit rate will be reduced for age.

In order to claim divorced spousal benefits you'll need to file an application. You can apply either online on Social Security's website (, or by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213.

Best, Jerry

Aug 28 2021 - 9:17am
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