What Do I Need To Do If I'm Separated And Don't Know If My Ex-Spouse Is Still Living?

Aug 24 2019 - 10:08am

My husband and I separated about 10 yrs. ago. I don't even know if he's alive. How can I find out if I'm entitled to any of his benefits. We have been married over 20 years total. I won' retire for another year or so. What do I need to do?

Hi,

If your ex-husband is deceased you could potentially qualify for surviving divorced spousal benefits as early as age 60, or if he's alive you could potentially qualify for divorced spousal benefits as early as age 62. However, you could only qualify for divorced spousal benefits on a living ex's record if 50% of their primary insurance amount (PIA) is higher than your own PIA. And, if you filed for divorced spousal benefits or surviving divorced spousal benefits prior to your full retirement age (FRA) your benefit rate would be reduced for age.

I don't know how you can find out if your ex is still living. Social Security usually receives notices of death from funeral homes or state registries, but they probably won't release information to you at least until you show them proof of your relationship and potential eligibility for benefits. Our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) can help you determine your best strategy for claiming your Social Security benefits, but you'd need to furnish information about your ex-husband's work history or benefit rate in order for the software to analyze your options with regard to divorced spousal benefits.

Best, Jerry