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Can You Receive Your Ex-Spouse's Social Security Payments?

You might be planning for your retirement and while you might have worked, you didn't earn as much as your ex-spouse did. You might think that if you were still married to them, you would share in their social security benefits payment, in the same manner that they would yours. You might not realize that you can still receive part of your ex-spouse's social security benefits payment after the divorce, and potentially if they are deceased as well. 

Here is how you could be eligible to receive at least half of your ex-spouse's social security benefit payments.

You Were Married For More Than 10 Years

If you were married for more than 10 years to your ex-spouse, then you might be eligible to receive at least a portion of their social security benefit payments each month. The social security benefit is calculated using how many years you have worked and what your earnings are. The higher your earnings were, the more social security benefit you can receive. If your spouse's earning record is higher than yours, then you could be entitled to a portion of their benefit even after divorce.

It is possible to still collect on this benefit even if your ex-spouse has remarried. It may also be possible to qualify for the benefit even if your ex-spouse has not applied for them yet. Bear in mind, that your ex-spouse is also entitled to your social security benefit as well unless they have remarried. They would only be eligible if that marriage ends in either divorce or if their spouse has passed away.

Ask your social security lawyer if you are eligible for the payments, and they can help you determine your rights in this matter.

You Didn't Remarry Or Are Not Currently Married

You can only apply for your ex-spouse's social security benefits if you have never remarried or are not married at the time you applied for them. The only time you would become eligible again for your ex-spouse's social security benefits is if your new marriage ended by divorce, it was annulled, or they passed away within several years of marriage.

Consult with your social security lawyer for more information about your case.

If You Are Eligible For Your Own Social Security Benefit, You Might Not Qualify

In some cases, you might have earned at least as much as your ex-spouse did, or perhaps you actually had the higher earnings. This means, you are eligible for your own social security benefits in your own right and therefore might not be entitled to your ex-spouse's benefits. If your own benefits are higher than what you would receive from your ex-spouse's benefits, you will not qualify.

If you are eligible to receive benefits in your own right, but they wouldn't be as much as if you received a portion of your ex-spouse's benefits, then you may be paid the difference from your ex-spouse's benefits to bring it up to where it would be if you were still married.