How Do I Get Divorced Spousal Benefits?

Apr 29 2020 - 5:46pm

Hi Larry, I am 56 yrs old and been on SSDI since 2010 . Previously, in 2001, I got divorced ( we were married 17 yrs.) He is about to retire this year ( he'll be 67) If I was married more than 10 yrs to him , how do I get the divorced spouse amount ? ( He always made alot more the I have ( I was mostly raising 4 children the whole marriage )
Right now I receive $890 a month on SSDI . I'm hoping that I qualify somehow for much more one day. He always made at least $60k plus a year
Thank you for a response and stay safe, Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,

If your ex's primary insurance amount (PIA) is more than twice as much as your PIA then you could potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits in addition to your Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits, but not until you reach age 62. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing at full retirement age (FRA), or their full SSDI rate.

If you wait until FRA to start drawing your divorced spousal benefits you'd get the full difference between 50% of your ex's PIA and your PIA. That would then be paid in addition to your own SSDI rate. But, if you start drawing the divorced spousal benefits at age 62, the divorced spousal rate will be reduced for age.

Best, Jerry