What Kind Of Benefits Can I Receive?

Apr 14 2017 - 7:30am

I was born in 1959, my ex-husband of 19 years was born in 1955 and I don't know when he plans to start collecting his Social Security. My present husband was born in 1964 but is now on permanent disability and receives SSDI. I have been a mostly "stay at home wife and mother" so my benefits will be minimal. My ex-husband has worked consistently for most of his life paying into his SS, my present husband had not paid into his SS as much. Lastly, aside from SS my ex dropped out of the Navy after 17 years which we were married through that entire time. He also remarried. We had no special provisions regarding SS in our Divorce Decree. Could you please advise me of when and what benefits to file for. Thank you


You can't get divorced spousal benefits on a living ex-spouse while you are remarried. It's possible to be remarried and receive benefits on a deceased ex-spouse's record, but only if you remarried after age 60.

It sounds like you could eventually qualify for spousal benefits on your current husband's record, and/or retirement benefits on your own record. You must, however, be at least age 62 to receive either of those types of benefits, assuming that you are not disabled and don't have an eligible child in your care.

Whenever you file for either retirement or spousal benefits, you will be deemed to have filed for both benefits and you will only receive essentially the higher of the 2 rates. And, if you start drawing benefits prior to full retirement age, which is age 66 & 10 months for people born in 1959, your benefit rate will be reduced.

You may want to consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to explore all of your filing options and determine your best strategy.

Best, Jerry