Can I Claim As A Divorced Spouse At 62 If My Ex-Spouse Is Also 62?

Aug 7 2018 - 7:32am

I am on SSDi. I wish to get off it as i want to leave the states and i am not a citizen. Can i claim as divorced spouse at 62 if spouse is also 62?

Hi,

You couldn't voluntarily quit drawing Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits and draw divorced spousal benefits instead, nor would that necessarily enable you to receive your benefits outside of the U.S. You could theoretically switch to drawing regular Social Security retirement benefits instead of SSDI, but that would likely just cut your net benefit rate by around 25%.

However, assuming that you were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years you could file for divorced spousal benefits in addition to your SSDI, but you'll only be eligible if your ex's full retirement age rate (PIA, or primary insurance amount) is more than twice as much as your full SSDI rate. To be eligible for divorced spousal benefits, you must be at least age 62 and be unmarried, and your ex must either be a) drawing his benefits, or b) at least age 62 and your divorce has been final for at least 2 years. Furthermore, if you are eligible for divorced spousal benefits and you start drawing them prior to full retirement age your divorced spousal rate will be reduced for age.

Regardless of what type of benefits you're receiving, whether or not your benefits would continue to be paid if you move outside of the U.S. depends on a number of different factors, such as your country of citizenship and which country you move to. For more information on this topic, refer to the following Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf.

Best, Jerry