Can I Collect My Ex-Spouse's Benefits?

Feb 16 2018 - 6:18am

I was married for 9 years many years ago and just found out that Massachusetts does not recognize my 1987 Santo Domingo divorce! If that's true, can I collect his SS benefits? He passed 2011 at 61 and I will be 66 in August. Thanks!


I can't really answer that question. I can only tell you that you must have been married for at least 10 years in order to potentially qualify for surviving divorced spouse's benefits, so if you were legally married for longer than that then it's possible that you may qualify for benefits on your ex's record.

You'll probably need to file an application with Social Security in order to get a formal determination of your eligibility. It sounds like they may need to request a legal opinion from their Regional Chief Council (RCC) in order to decide your case. RCCs provide legal opinions interpreting the laws of the States within a respective region to resolve issues relating to Social Security laws. Filing an application would also give you appeal rights if the determination on your claim is unfavorable.

Best, Jerry