What benefits can I collect?

Jun 29 2016 - 12:00pm

I was married for over 23 years and my wages were lower from moving for his career, to stay home to raise our children, or I was not paid at all as I worked for my husband (he is an MD). I am divorced and not remarried. I am 59 1/2 and he is 58 1/2. He is definitely the higher earner and my own benefit would be around the minimum SS pays. I would be applying for spousal benefit, but do not understand how that works. I have no access to his earnings statement from SS. I have several medical conditions that are disabling and applied in Feb 2016 for disability, and a decision is to be made I have been told in July this year. I had applied in April of 2008 for disability and was ultimately denied as I did not keep up with their requests for information as I was too disabled to understand at the time what they were requesting and did not have the physical or mental capacity to act on their requests. Could you explain what my options are for collecting benefits? Thank you.

Nancy,
If Social Security approves your application for disability benefits then you will receive them and they will automatically convert to a regular retirement benefit at your full retirement age. You will also be eligible for Divorced Spouse's benefits, equal to one half of your Ex's full retirement age benefit, when he turns 62, if you take them before your full retirement age they will be reduced. If you do not qualify for disability benefits but have at least 40 quarters of Social Security coverage, then you would be eligible for retirement benefits on your own record. If you take them before your full retirement age they will be reduced.
Our software, MaximizeMySocialSecurity, can tell you the best filing strategy, i.e. when to apply for which benefits.

Best,
Mike