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When to claim ex-husband's benefits

I plan to apply for my SS benefits at age 70. I divorced 11 years ago after 19 years of marriage and never remarried. When can I claim benefits from his SS and does it affect when I claim my own?

Updated : September 16, 2012 by Guest


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Claiming benefits based on ex-spouse's work record

September 16, 2012 by David Luhman

A person can receive benefits as a divorced spouse on a former spouse's Social Security record if he or she:

  • Was married to the former spouse for at least 10 years;
  • Is at least age 62 years old;
  • Is unmarried; and
  • Is not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.

In addition, the former spouse must be entitled to receive his or her own retirement or disability benefit. If the former spouse is eligible for a benefit, but has not yet applied for it, the divorced spouse can still receive a benefit if he or she meets the eligibility requirements above and has been divorced from the former spouse for at least two years.

I'm not sure I understand the statement, "...does is affect when I claim my own?". You will receive the higher benefit based on your work record or his. There are some timing strategies for married couples whereby they can increase their joint benefit, but I am unaware of them for divorced folks.

Contact the SSA for your particular case.

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/299

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