Social Security and Divorce
Social Security and Divorce: Benefits You Are Missing
Did you know that it is possible to claim Social Security Spousal and Surviror Benefits from your ex? This little known yet extremely valuable information could make a big difference in one’s financial situation during retirement. If you and your former spouse meet a certain set of criteria, you may be eligible to claim half of your ex’s social security benefits if they are living, and their full benefits if they are deceased. Criteria Include:
– Married 10 years or longer
– Ex-Spouse is unmarried
– Benefit you are entitled to receive based on your work history is less than the benefit your ex would receive on their own work history.
– You are entitled to Social Security Retirement or Disability benefits.
If you meet the above criteria, you can file for spousal benefits even if your ex-spouse isn’t receiving his or her own benefits at the time. Spousal benefit is kept private between you and the Social Security Administration. Your former spouse does not have to be informed that you have inquired or filed for benefits on his or her record. Also, it is important to note that the amount of benefits your ex-spouse receives has no effect on the amount of benefits you may receive, meaning you will not be leaving your former spouse in a lesser financial situation.
Where to Begin
You can begin your inquiry into divorce and social security benefits by visiting your local Social Security Administration office. The office will require proof of the former marriage, so being prepared with paperwork such as pay-stubs or a decree of divorce is wise. You can also speak with a local attorney who is familiar with the laws of divorce and social security.