Receiving Social Security from an Ex-Spouse

If your ex-spouse was the primary earner, you might be eligible for a higher social security benefit based on his or her work history instead of your own.

However, there are limitations, and you must fall within all these categories to qualify for a “divorced spouse” benefit:

  • Your marriage lasted for at least 10 years;
  • You must be at least 62 years old;
  • You must be eligible for Social Security benefits;
  • You must be unmarried (if you remarry, you lose the benefit of your former spouse, unless your later marriage ends by death, divorce, or annulment);
  • Your ex-spouse must either be receiving Social Security disability benefits or is eligible for Social Security; and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.


The maximum benefit you will receive is 50% of your ex-spouse’s full retirement amount.

If the ex-spouse did not apply for retirement benefits, but qualifies for them, you can receive benefits on his or her behalf if you have been divorced for a minimum of two years.

If you are eligible for retirement benefits for your own work history and for divorced spouse’s benefits, you will be paid the retirement benefit first. If the benefit of the ex-spouse is higher, you will get an additional amount on your ex-spouse’s record so that calculated together, the benefits are equal to the higher amount.

Not sure if you fall under these requirements? Schedule a consultation today. EPGD Law is here to help you with all your Estate Planning and Tax needs. / (786) 837-6787

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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