Will I Be Able To Get Divorced Spousal Benefits?

Sep 11 2017 - 9:56am

Hello and thanks for you help
.My spouse of 18 years and I are divorcing. I am 66 and have been collecting S S since I was 64 . He encouraged me to take early retirement at 62 and early S S, which I did at 64. I am also collecting a my small work retirement. Each of these benefits were reduced around 30% due to our joint decision.He planned to take his benefit at 70. He is 67 now.
Then he left me last year. So my question is this. May I take the difference of his benefit when he reaches 70? He earned nearly 4x what I did. Can I be married again or must I stay single for this benefit?
thanks for your work in this . Claire

Hi Claire

Yes, it sounds like you could potentially qualify for additional divorced spousal benefits effective with the earlier of a) when your husband starts drawing his benefits, or b) when your divorce has been final for 2 years. The amount you could be eligible for is the difference between 50% of your ex-husband's full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) and your own PIA, assuming that your own PIA is the lower of those 2 amounts.

And yes, you would need to remain unmarried in order to receive divorced spousal benefits as long as your ex-husband is living, although there are limited circumstances under which a person receiving divorced spousal benefits could continue to receive them after a remarriage to someone receiving certain limited types of Social Security benefits (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0300202045). If your ex dies before you, though, a remarriage occurring at or after age 60 would not bar entitlement to surviving divorced spousal benefits.

Best, Jerry