Does My Ex's Benefit Rate Need To Be More Than Twice As Much As Mine For Me To Get Divorced Spousal Benefits?

Aug 1 2020 - 2:06pm

I was married from 1965 until 1982, I am 72, & my ex is 79. I have our divorce decree, his birthdate, but not his ss#. How can I find out if he gets more on SS, & if he does, how can I apply for benefits if his monthly amt is more than mine? I get $1401.00 a mo, (that's b4 they take out for Medical insurance) Does his need to be twice that amt & then some for me to benefit from his?


Basically, yes. Assuming that your ex-spouse is living, 50% of his primary insurance amount (PIA) would need to be more than your full PIA in order for you to potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing at full retirement age (FRA). However, if your ex dies before you you could potentially be eligible for the higher of your benefit rate or your ex's full benefit rate.

Social Security can't tell you how much your ex is getting, but they should be able to tell you whether or not you could be eligible for divorced spousal benefits. Or, you could simply file for divorced spousal benefits in order to get a formal determination. If you don't know your ex's Social Security number, you should still be able to file a claim if you furnish sufficient evidence of your identity and relationship.

Best, Jerry