If My Ex-Husband Dies Before My Present Husband Could I File For Survivor Benefits On His Record?

May 23 2018 - 4:10pm

I am 60 and presently married for the 2nd time. My ex-husband was a CEO and had substantial income particularly at the end of his career (in excess of $1 million a year). I was married to my ex-husband for over 10 years and have now been divorced from him for over 15 years. I plan to apply for reduced benefits under my account at age 62 -- my PIA is 1350. Then to apply at age 64 for excess spousal benefits (once my husband [PIA 2900] has begun receiving his benefits -- he plans to file for benefits at age 65). If my present husband passes away before me, I would then apply for spousal death benefits under his account. My question is this: If my ex-husband passes away before my present husband, do I then have the option to file for either spousal death benefits or ex-spousal death benefits depending on which account would provide me the most income?


Assuming that you married your current husband before age 60, then no you couldn't qualify for survivor benefits on your first husband's record. However, if you remarried after reaching age 60 or if your present marriage ends in death or divorce, then you could potentially claim benefits on your first husband's account (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0403.html).

Before you file, you and your husband should strongly consider using our maximization software to explore and compare your options in order to determine your best strategy.

Best, Jerry