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Do divorced spouses get Social Security work benefits?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2020 | Divorce |

The emotional toll wrought by divorce can increase if you are losing someone that provided the primary income into your household. It can cause you to wonder how you will provide for yourself when you retire. However, if your marriage has lasted long enough and you meet other qualifications, you might have a way to receive work-related Social Security benefits.

The Motley Fool explains that some divorced spouses may claim Social Security benefits on the work record of their former spouse. Even if the former spouse marries again, it does not matter. If you are eligible for benefits, you can continue to receive them. However, receiving work-related Social Security benefits requires you to meet some criteria.

First, the length of your marriage has to reach a certain threshold. You can claim Social Security benefits if the marriage of you and your former spouse had lasted for no less than 10 years. Your personal age also matters. You must be no younger than 62 years old. Your former spouse should also be eligible for disability or retirement benefits. Also, you must currently be single.

Additionally, the benefits you would derive from the work record of your ex should exceed what you would receive from your own work history. You also have to wait for two years to pass from the date of your divorce to start taking benefits. Fortunately, you do not have to wait for your ex-spouse to start taking Social Security as long as you are 62 and meet the above standards.

It is important to keep in mind that you would only draw these benefits as long as you remain unmarried. If you decide to tie the knot a second time, these benefits will end. However, you might have the option of taking benefits from the work record of your new spouse. You may also draw benefits from your own work history if you have one.