Do I Have To Wait Until My Ex-Husband Is 62 To File For Benefits On His Record?

Aug 21 2018 - 9:38am

Ex husband will be 59 in Nov. I will be 65 in October of this year. We were divorced in 2007. I know I am entitles to his soc. sec. Do I have to wait until he is 62 or can I draw his when I take full retirement at 66 next year. If I take early retirement at 65 can I draw his also.


Your ex would have to be at least age 62 or drawing Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits in order for you to potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits on his record.

You could file for your own retirement benefits now or when you reach full retirement age (FRA) and then file for an excess divorced spousal benefit later, but only if 50% of your ex's full retirement age rate (PIA, or primary insurance amount) is higher than your own PIA. However, if you file for your own benefits prior to FRA you'd keep the resulting reduction for age even if you later qualify for divorced spousal benefits.

For example, say Jane files for her retirement benefits at age 65. Jane's PIA is $800, but her reduced age 65 rate is $746. Three years later when Jane's ex-husband turns 62 she files for divorced spousal benefits. Jane's ex's PIA is $2000, so Jane's excess divorced spousal benefit would be $200 (i.e. 50% of her ex's PIA minus her own PIA). That amount would then be added to Jane's reduced retirement benefit to give her a combined rate of $946.

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Best, Jerry