Here is How to Collect Social Security Benefits From an Ex

If there is one thing that married life and divorce teach you, it’s that you have to take your personal finances much more seriously thereafter.

Alimony, debt, and legal fights can tie up the finances of divorcees for years after separating. And it is folly to believe that only young and middle-aged people get divorced.

Many elderly people find themselves divorced and starting over in every way. Almost 40% of people aged between 65 to 74 get divorced.

It can be traumatic to start over financially after years and decades of marriage. However, there is a legal way to collect Social Security benefits from an ex a decade after divorce.

Believe it or not, the Social Security Administration has an application process called “Information You Need to Apply for Spouse’s or Divorced Spouse’s Benefits.”

If you qualify, you can collect Social Security benefits from an ex, living or deceased. However, there are a lot of specific prerequisites that must be met for you to qualify.

To start with, your ex must qualify for and receive Social Security benefits.

You must be at least 62 years old and single. And you must have been married to your ex for at least a decade. You and your ex must have been divorced for at least 24 months.

However, you can apply for these benefits even before your ex retires.

Earnings test

If you are receiving Social Security benefits, then half of your current benefits must be less than half of your ex’s current benefits. The average Social Security payment is $1,500.

Half of $1,500 is $750. So, your current benefits would have to be less than $1,500 monthly to qualify.

If you are age 62, working, and receiving Social Security benefits, you may be asked by Social Security to take a retirement earnings test. Depending on your personal circumstance, the benefits you potentially receive from your ex could be reduced.

And if your ex is deceased, then you can apply for their Social Security benefits as a survivor.

Before applying to receive Social Security benefits from your ex it may be worthwhile to consult with a financial advisor experienced in these issues.