Does WEP Or GPO Apply In My Case?

May 12 2020 - 2:51pm

I will be applying for social security benefits on my ex-spouse’s record at 67 years of age. My ex-spouse will then be age 62. I receive a small Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefit ($460 Cnd.) which I took at age 60 and will defer my Old Age Pension (OAS) until age 67. I will “buy in” to Medicare between ages 65-67. I will not have enough credits to apply on my own record.

QUESTION: As I am not applying on my own record, does WEP or GPO apply in my case?

Thank you!


WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) can only apply to Social Security retirement or disability benefits based on a person's own U.S. earnings history. Therefore, if you don't have sufficient credits to qualify for U.S. Social Security benefits on your own record then WEP won't be involved.

The Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision can only apply to auxiliary or survivor (e.g. spousal, widow) benefits payable based on someone else's Social Security earnings history. However, foreign pensions are excluded from the definition of a government pension for purposes of the GPO provision. Therefore, since WEP does not apply to spousal benefits and if your only government pension is from Canada, then your U.S. divorced spousal benefits will not be affected by either provision.

Best, Jerry