Why Can't I Receive Benefits On My Deceased First Husband's Record?

Apr 15 2018 - 4:28pm

I staid home raised my children then went to work part time i don't qualify for soc sec benefits not enough credits and don't qualify on my soc. sec. I was married to him 17&1/2 years he passed away 8 years ago .I have been remarried for 25 years . I'm 64 my husband is 60 I receive nothing in social security but a foreigner can marry an american citizen and collect on there spousals soc.sec. if they have been married for 1 year .I don't understand this i worked raising my children married to first husband for 17&1/2 years and cannot collect I have a tremor and can only work part time why cant i receive my ex husbands social security he worked from age 16 till he died 8 years ago he never married it is not fair why cant I receive it i have to get divorced to get it and be divorced for 2 years not fair to stay at home moms

Hi,

You can't qualify for surviving divorced spousal benefits if you are currently married and you married your current spouse before you turned age 60. Whether that's fair or not, it is one of the Social Security regulations passed into law by Congress (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0406.html).

I'm not advocating divorce, but if your current marriage did end in divorce you would not have to wait 2 years before potentially qualifying for surviving divorced spousal benefits. Provided that you meet all of the other requirements for entitlement to survivor benefits on your first husband's record (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0403.html), you could qualify as early as the month that your divorce is final.

Best, Jerry