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How To File On Your Ex’s Social Security

By Andy Landis

If you’re confused about Social Security rules for divorced individuals, you’re not alone. Let’s clear up the muddle and discover some ways to work the rules to your advantage.

I’m divorced and don’t have a 10- year work history. Can I get Social Security?

Probably. You can get Social Security “former spouse payments” if the following requirements are met:

Whew! That’s a lot of requirements. But if you qualify, you will receive monthly payments of 35% to 50% of your ex’s Social Security and you’ll get Medicare at 65.

I’m divorced and have my own 10- year work history. Can ex-spousal payments help me?

If your ex-spouse also has a 10-year work history, you’re what I call a “dualie.” That means you’re duallyeligible for Social Security, as a workerand as a former spouse.

That clears the road to the “Dualie Detour.” Wait until your FRA to file for Social Security, and then file only for the ex-spousal payment. Hold your own Social Security in reserve. At age 70, get a raise by filing for your own Social Security—by then it has reached its maximum, 132% of your age-66 payment. Of course this pathway assumes that your own payment at 70 is greater than the spousal payment. The Detour won’t work if you file for Social Security before FRA, so be patient.

I want to remarry.

While you are married you cannot get Social Security from your exspouse. (But see the exception below if your ex-spouse is deceased.)

My ex passed away. How does that change things?

The Social Security Administration calls you a “surviving divorced spouse.” Survivor payments are different in four ways:

How can I learn more?

Check the SSA websites on divorced spouses or surviving divorced spouses. Be sure to consult with the Social Security Administration before committing to any pathway.

And as always, keep on planning.

Andy Landis, founder of Thinking Retirement, is an author, speaker, and consultant specializing in Social Security, Medicare, and life planning for retirement. If you have questions about Social Security, email questions@vitalmagonline.com.

Source: www.marketwatch.com