Will My Wife Be Eligible For Benefits On Her Ex-Husband's Record?

Feb 26 2018 - 9:19am

My wife and I are both divorced. I am an educator and draw teacher retirement. I do have 40 quarters in SS but do not have significant contributions. My windfall offset will eliminate any SS benefit that I would recieve. We both remarried after 30 years in prior marriages but we were both under 60 years of age when we remarried. Will my current spouse be eligible for her ex husbands SS benefit or widow benefits at any point? After I die or h the ex dies or after both of us pass on?

Hi,

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) never eliminates a person's Social Security (SS) retirement benefits entirely, so if you have 40 quarters of SS coverage you should receive at least some SS benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf).

Your wife wouldn't be able to draw benefits on her previous husband's record for the duration of your marriage, but if your marriage ends in death or divorce then it sounds like she could potentially qualify for divorced spousal or survivor benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html).

You and your wife should strongly consider using our maximization software to explore your options and determine you best strategy for claiming SS benefits.

Best, Jerry