Married for More Than Ten Years? You Can Collect Social Security Benefits From Your Ex-Spouse!

TenIf you were married to your ex-spouse for ten or more years, then you are eligible for very important Social Security benefits that could drastically increase how much Social Security you receive each month. Who doesn’t want a bigger Social Security check each month?

No one, that’s right! So keep reading.

Even if you are divorced, you can claim something called derivative benefits based on the earnings history of your ex-husband. Derivative benefits are equal to one half of your ex-husband’s Social Security benefits. So, for example, let’s say that Don receives roughly $3,000 per month in Social Security benefits. His ex-wife, Samantha who was married to Don for 18 years before they divorced in 2010, is eligible to receive $1,500 per month in Social Security benefits ($3,000 / 2 = $1,500) if she waits until full retirement age of 66+ to collect. If she collects between ages 62 and 66, there will be a reduction for taking benefits early.

The amount an individual receives from Social Security is based on their average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years where they earned the most income. In many cases, especially with older generations, a husband’s income will be greater than that of his ex-wife, and he therefore is entitled to a higher amount of Social Security.

After Samantha married Don, she quickly became pregnant. Over the years, she gave birth to three children. Samantha and Don decided that it made more financial sense for Don to work while Samantha stayed home to raise the children. During their prime working years, Don continued to climb the corporate ladder while Samantha earned no income. After her youngest child left for college, Samantha rejoined the workforce as an administrative assistant, but by the time she was planning to retire, her Social Security benefits were only $900 per month. Clearly, $1,500 in derivative benefits is a much better deal for Samantha than the $900 per month she would receive for her own benefits.

Of course, Samantha or any woman could choose to stick with her own full benefits. If, for instance, Samantha hadn’t chosen to stay at home with the children and instead opened her own PR agency and now could receive Social Security benefits of $3,000 a month, there’s no reason for her to take $1,500 a month in derivative benefits.

Your Derivative Benefits Don’t Affect Your Ex-Spouse’s Benefits

Samantha and Don’s divorce was amicable, and Samantha doesn’t want to “take” money away from her ex-husband through derivative benefits. She doesn’t have to worry. Whether or not she takes derivative benefits, Don will still earn his full amount of Social Security. If he remarries, his new wife will also be fully entitled to her derivative benefits regardless of what choice Samantha makes.

If you were married for over ten years, then when it is retirement time, you can ask the Social Security Administration to compute what amount of derivative benefits you are entitled to, so you can collect the maximum to which you are entitled.  You can also visit this great divorce resource from the Social Security Administration or read more in our excellent archive of divorce articles for women.

347 thoughts on “Married for More Than Ten Years? You Can Collect Social Security Benefits From Your Ex-Spouse!”

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    1. Married 11 years before getting divorced. Remarried at 45 and been married to husband #2 for 29 years. Currently receive SS as does husband #2. Husband #1, died 6 years ago. Entitled to anything from husband #1 while married to husband #2? If divorce husband #2 what are options?

      1. Since you are married to #2, you can’t benefits based on #1. If you and #2 divorce, then you can collect your own benefits, surviving divorced spouse benefits on #1, or divorced spouse benefits based on #2, whichever is greater.

        1. I got married in 1985. and I have remained married until 2006 when my husband passed. I’m 48 can I draw any benifits

          1. If you have dependent children at home, they may be eligible for children’s social security benefits, and you may as well as their caretaker. Once you are age 60 or older, you can collect widow benefits, though they will be reduced if you collect before full retirement age of 66+.

        2. This is very helpful. I’ve been told that since I remarried, and divorced a year later, that I have no claim on my ex-husband #1’s benefits with whom I had five children and for whom he did not pay any child support. Thank you!

      2. Kimberly Buchanan

        The man that I am still mare to for 22 yrs we are separated and have been for a min now he is the reason I’m in the shape I’m in he tried to kill me in a car and well it broke my neck bent spinal cord and to much to mention back in 97 after two yrs of recovering I tried to work but am just getting worse what can I do about getting some type of help from him financially I am trying to get a divorce but can not because I only qualify for ssi because I had not worked in the last five yrs when they approved me

        1. In most states, spouses have a duty to support one another, so it is possible that you are entitled to support from him if he income greatly exceeds your own. You’ll need to check with someone who knows that laws in your state to see exactly how the laws would apply to your situation.

      1. 1) If I were to receive widow’s benefits in my retirement on my ex-husband’s record but he died prior to my collecting benefits I interpret the SS website to read that my benefit would be 100% of the benefit he received instead of 50%…again, only if he is deceased. Did I interpret that correctly?

        1. If you are a surviving divorced spouse, then you receive a benefit based on 100% of his earnings record. And yes, he must be dead for you to be a surviving divorced spouse. If he’s still alive, you are simply a divorced spouse and the applicable percentage is 50%.

          1. I get disability due to PTSD etc I been married 10 years legally separated over 4 years no contact with each other but still legally married.. Is there anyway I’m able to draw from her benefits????

          2. Social security rules consider you still married. Once you are at least age 62 and she begins collecting her social security retirement benefits, you can begin collecting spousal benefits if they exceed what you are receiving in social security disability benefits.

        2. I’m 63 year old. My ex-spouse was 77. I’m a divorce spouse who was married for over 12 years before I divorce my spouse twenty years ago. Because of my illnesses for the last two years I have been on SSi. I just was told my ex-spouse has passed away either in March or April of this year. My two questions are, {1} Will I receive 100% of my ex-spouse’s social security that he has been receiving? {2} When do I have to contact Social Security?

          1. If you are not currently married, you can receive the higher of your SSI, your social security retirement benefits, or the social security retirement benefits that are based on your deceased divorced spouse’s earnings history. If I were you, I’d contact social security as soon as I could to find out what I’ll receive.

        1. I am 62 and have drawn ss disability since age 54 or 55. It is not ssi because i paid too much ss befoe disability. I remarried before disability and worked afterwards. Was only married for 5 or 6 years. He is deceased now. We were divorced long before his passing. My husband of 13 years and father of my children is still alive and not married. Do I qualify for benefits from him if I outlive him?

          1. Since you are currently unmarried, and you were married to Husband #1 for more than 10 years, you can draw divorced spouse benefits, which are the equivalent of 50% of what he’d be entitled to. If you draw before full retirement age of 66+, your benefits will be reduced for early withdrawal. You don’t have to wait for him to retire, and you don’t have to wait for him to die to get those benefits.
            Now for the bad news: I believe that you can get either your disability payments or the divorced spouse benefits, but not both at the same time. But check with Social Security Administration to find out for sure in your case.

      2. Allison Gonzales

        I have a question about SSI. back in 2004 my ex husband left me three months pregnant with our daughter after being married for more than 10 years.we married June 18th 1993. I remarried August 2010 after 15 months I filed for divorce and was divorce by April 2012.. I I have been on disability since 2012 and was wanting to know if I could draw any disability benefits or social security benefits off of my ex-husband that I was married to for more than 10 years? I have no idea until I started reading up on this today I’ve been struggling ever since 2004 when my whole life changed due to my ex-husband leaving not just me but his children as well. Financially

        1. Once you and he are both of retirement age, you can draw divorced spouse retirement benefits or your own benefits, whichever is greater. I don’t believe you can receive disability benefits based on his history, but if you can, social security would have taken that into account in computing the disability benefits you are currently receiving.

        2. Hi, I’m 55 years old and receiving social security disability. I was married for 20 years and now divorced and single. My ex-spouse is still living and 67 years old. Am I eligible for any auxiliary benefits on his social security while he is still living because I am on disability?

          1. Once you reach retirement age of 62, you will be eligible to switch over to social security retirement benefits based on your own history or divorced spouse benefits based on his history, whichever is higher. But if your disability payments are higher than either of those, you’ll opt to continue receiving disability until you are of full retirement age of 66+.

        3. If I’ve been married to my deceased husband for 19 yrs and he had a prior marriage to another wife for over 10 yrs then she remarried but divorced her second husband, how much of my husband’s SS will she drawl. IAM receiving widows pay now


      1. If you were married to him for 10 years or longer, you can get divorced spouse benefits or your own benefits when you become retirement age, whichever is higher. In your example you would receive your $1000 per month since it is higher than divorced spouse benefits which are the equivalent of half of what he is eligible to receive.

      2. I am disable for 17 years and only get 7.69 a month and was married to my x husband for more then 19 years he is still working and make good money how much can I draw off of him

        1. I have been on ssdi since 2014 I broke my back I am 58 I recive 1000 a mouth she will probably get about 1900 A Mouth What Would I Get You Know How Much I Could get

          1. Once you are of retirement age your disability income will convert to retirement benefits. It sounds as though you would continue to get the same amount, since it is higher than 50% of the retirement benefits based on her record that you could get as spousal benefits.

  2. I was married to my first husband for 23 years and then we divorced. I remarried but now my second husband is divorcing me after 11 years of marriage. My first husband is now deceased but he never remarried after we divorced. What, if anything would I be eligible for? I am 57 years old and work full time.

      1. Hi my question is I was married for 14 years my Ex husband his 70 years old and he remarried I’m 51 years old and I’m on long term disability and I’m apply for SS Disability can qualify for my ex husband retirement benefits?

      2. Hi can I get a benefits of my deceased xhusband that we are married 2008 and we are divorced at 2015 and I am 60 years old thank!

    1. I were married for over 20 years disable and divorce. Age 59. Xspouse disable. What age can I start collecting off xspouse record. I am caring for his disabled child also. Thank u.

      1. Your child may be able to get social security benefits, and depending on the age of the child, you may be able to get parent caregiver benefits. Check with social security about your particular situation. Once you are of retirement age, you can switch your disability payments over to social security retirement benefits if that will get you a greater benefit.

  3. Question 1) when I decide to take early social security at age 62, will my benefits in any way be reduced because my wife continues working? Question 2) my wife and I entered our 2nd marriage in our late 50’s. She was married for 31 years in her first marriage. Do i understand correctly that she is in no way eligible for spousal SS benefits because when we were married, she was under 60 years of age? Thank you.

    1. Your social security benefits are reduced only if you continue working. Her working has nothing to do with your benefits. When she retires, she will be entitled to her own benefits or spousal benefits based on your earnings record, and not based on her former spouse’s record.

  4. I recently went on SS at age 66 after collecting SS disability for 12 years and my check is pitiful. Will it increase when my 62 year old husband retires?

          1. i have been married to darwin robert goldstein in the past over 10 years. he has been remarried over 15 years to shirley goldstein. i do not know how to collect his earnings can you send me paper work on how to do this.he lives in parkridge.

      1. LaQuenta Lynette Kimbrough

        I’m now married to my husband for 9 years. Even if its closer to ten. Can l still get his SS? He’s 100% disabled thru the Army. He told the Social Security people that he can’t work becuz of the pins in his back. Well how do l report that he’s working and being paid under the table? I also have proof that he’s playing football, basketball, working on top of a roof. He advertised his work on his facebook page.

        1. This article is about Social Security retirement benefits, and if you were married for 10 years or longer, Social Security will take your ex-spouse’s earnings history into account when calculating the benefits you are entitled to. You are talking about military disability payments and social security disability payments. I don’t know how you report what you know or to whom, or what effect it would have on those benefits. But before you put a lot of effort into pursuing those questions, think about what effect that might have on you. If he didn’t have that income, would your income exceed his? If so, you might be on the hook for alimony payments to him.

  5. kathleen dixon

    I was married for 25 years and divorced. He got remarried and I got remarried. At retirement time can I claim derivative benefits if hi earnings was greater than mine?

      1. Ginita,
        I wanted to ask you ~ I am now 69 years old and my x-husband who I was married to for 28 years but divorced 24 years ago and he is now 76 and receives $2,500.00 a month. I got Social Security at 62 and I was wondering if I am entitled to 1/2 of his Social Security right now?… I just can’t seem to find a question like my situation……

        1. Yes, you should be collecting the highest benefit to which you are entitled, based on your own earnings history or your former spouse’s earnings history, whichever is higher. Normally the social security office calculates this automatically, but contact them to make sure that they have looked at both records to make the determination of the highest amount when paying you.

        1. If you will get $650 social security retirement monthly payment based on your own earnings record, but could receive a spousal benefit based on your husband’s earnings history that is higher, you will get the higher benefit, as long as he also has applied for monthly retirement payments. if he had not, you will get your own benefit until he does apply for his social security benefits, and then you will switch over to the higher benefit based on his earnings history.

  6. I was married for 13 years. My ex retired from his US Postal service job. I raised our three children solo and did not receive any of his retirement benefits in our divorce decree. I’m not sure if he collects social security benefits or a civil service pension or both. Do I qualify for social security spousal benefits? If he collects a civil service pension, would the SS benefits be a reduced amount? How can I find out if he collects SS and if I qualify to draw on his benefits? I’m confused…

    1. When you reach retirement age and are ready to begin collecting benefits, be sure to let social security know of your prior marriage, and they will pay you the greatest amount to which you are entitled, your own benefits or your divorced spouse benefits.

      1. Thank you for your reply – I VERY much appreciate it! Will there be any SS benefits for my ex if he paid into a civil service pension rather than social security?

          1. What if ex worked for 10 years in private sec and paid in to ssi before taking USPS job that they eventually retired from… Having been previously married 10+ years when he was paying into ssi(before his post office career), am I entitled, as his ex, to a portion of any ssi he receives at retirement or death? Will it be added to the ssdi I currently receive?

          2. When you both are of retirement age 62 or older, you can collect your own benefits or divorced spouse benefits, whichever is higher. It is likely that your SSDI exceeds what you would be entitled to collect in retirement benefits, but you can ask Social Security to be sure.

    2. My husband and I were married for 10yrs 8 months never divorced never legally separated a year ago he abandon myself and our son and moved away because of drug use he passed away Jan 11th 2019 I reported his death to social security and the woman told me I wasn’t i entitled to spousal benefit or any kind of benefit I am disabled myself for over 24 years now i’m 44 yrs old and my husband was only 40 when he payI’m confused how could I not be entitled to anything from social security for myself and our son who is 19 years old

  7. I was married 13 years and thinking of going on ssid or ssi i am divorced my ex husband did not work during those years you are only entitled to spouses benefits during marriage not after its confusing

    1. SSDI and SSI are disability income, determined on your needs and your earnings while working. Social Security retirement is a retirement benefit that is payable when you are of retirement age, and is determined based on your own earnings while working or those earnings of your spouse or your divorced spouse, if you were married for 10 years or longer. If you receive SSDI now, that will convert over to social security retirement when you reach full retirement age.

      1. I was born with Spina Bifida and because of health issues my years of working were very limited. I have received disability income and SSI for the last 5 years. I was married for 10 years and then divorced in 1992. My ex husband is now 69 years old and I just turned 66. He remarried and is still married. I remarried but divorced from that marriage in 2008 after only being married for 4 years. My question is can I qualify to receive half of my ex spouse’s Social Security benefits that I was married to for 10 years now that I reached 66?

        1. It is my understanding that you can collect Social Security disability benefits or your own retirement benefits or divorced spouse benefits, whichever is greater. Ask Social Security how they are computing what they pay to you.

          1. Do I call Social Security first to see which is higher in my case? I read online I will need a copy of my Marriage Certificate and Divorce papers when scheduling an appointment with Social Security to see about divorced spouse benefits. My question is where do I call to get these items when I was married in West Virginia and divorced in Virginia?

          2. I’ve been trying to find out I’m almost ready for my hearing for disability so I’m trying to figure out if I don’t have enough work credits in but my ex husband that I was married to for 17 yrs has enough work credits An is still working , if I get a decision In my favor would I collect from his ? Sorry hope that makes sense

    2. So if my spouse did not work while we were married i am not entitled to his earnings if he is working now i can only get my earnings

      1. Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP

        You are entitled to social security retirement benefits based on your entire earnings history or divorced spouse benefits based on your husband’s entire earnings history.

  8. I was married to my first husband for 25 years. I remarried but after 5 years we are divorcing. My first husband passed away 2 years ago. He was collecting Ssdi when he passed. I will be 61 soon. Who would I collect from?

    1. Thankyou Ginita for your response. To follow up, am I better to collect at 62 or 66 from my deceased ex husband? Is there much of a difference? I remarried at 55, but as I stated earlier I will be divorcing after 5 years. Thankyou again for the information.

    1. As surviving divorced spouse, you are entitled to 50% of the benefit he would have been entitled to if you wait until you are 66+ (less if you take benefits early), as long as those benefits exceed the benefits based on your own record. If your own benefits are greater you would get those.

  9. As a divorced woman of a 12 yr marriage I was a stay at home mom and collected alimony for the past 20 yrs or so.. which I no longer collect. I work part time now but do not have any pension. Am I then entitled to 100 % of my ex spouses social security amount instead of 50 % of the amount?

  10. I am 54 and disabled I get SSI right now,can I get my ex husbands social security instead? We were married in August of 1990 and Divorced in April of 2002.

      1. At the age of 56 and disabled and get Ssdi can I draw social security from ex husband he has a lot payed in I was told

  11. I was married for 17 yrs been divorce I will be 63 in January never remarried can I take my xspouse SS he is 71 yrs old I was born January 19 th 1955 I’ve been divorce since 1992

  12. If you work for LA County and have a pension which have the WEP and GOP and you don’t have enough credits for social security benefits and you were married for at least 10 years are you entitled to you x-husbands social security benefits.

    1. You are receiving a government pension, so 2/3 of your pension payments reduce what you are entitled to in divorced spouse social security benefits. That is called the Government Pension Offset (GPO).

  13. Madeline Osborn

    I was married for 11 years from 1969 to 1981. We divorced and I remarried and have been married to my current husband for 36 years. I just applied for SS benefits for myself. Am I also entitled to SS benefits from my first husband?

    1. Right now it sounds as though you are entitled only to your own benefits. When your husband retires, you can receive spousal benefits if those exceed your own benefits. Since you have remarried, you are not eligible for benefits based on your first husband’s earnings history.

  14. I was married for 20 years to my first husband. I got remarried and have been married for 18 years to my 2nd husband, my first husband made more money than my 2nd. My first husband died never remarried so can I get his social security

    1. You are not eligible to receive surviving divorced spouse benefits based on your deceased first husband’s earnings history since you are currently married to another person. When you are of retirement age, you are entitled to collect spousal benefits based on his earnings record.

  15. I am disabled now .so is my d ex husband we were married for 13 years they say to draw off his social security I have to be this true

    1. Since you are disabled you may be able to get reduced benefits earlier. But if you are getting disability benefits, and they are higher that what you’d get in retirement benefits, you’ll probably want to stick with the disability benefits until you are of full retirement age. Talk to the Social Security Administration people to see what’s the best thing for you to do.

  16. I am a retired FERS employee age 60 and have been married 20 years to my spouse who makes twice my working income. Question is – can I draw SS off my spouse when I reach age 62? My husband will collect the highest SS amount allowed – due to his income. I have to collect SS either way at age 62. Please advise. I worked 38 years in 2 jobs and paid into SS that entire time.

    1. Yes, once he retires and begins receiving social security benefits. Until then, you can collect based on your own social security history. If you are receiving a pension based on employment where you did not pay into the social security system, then 2/3 of your pension will offset the social security you receive based on your spouse’s earnings history. But if your employment was covered by social security, then that Government Pension Offset rule doesn’t apply to you.

  17. Brenda Slanga

    I was married to my first husband over 10 years.. We both remarried.. My 2nd husband died and have been collecting Widows benefits.. I am going to be 64 in October.. Am I able to choose which Social to take..
    My first husband’s? as he made a lot more money ? Am I entitled to anything that my 1st husband made?

    1. You are entitled to receive the highest of divorced spouse benefits based on the earnings history of Husband #1, widow benefits based on Husband #2, or your own benefits. Since you are already receiving benefits, I imagine that Social Security has calculated widow’s benefits of 100% of what your deceased husband would have received is higher than divorced spouse benefits, which are just 50% of what he would be entitled to. You can contact them to see.

  18. Married 2 years to a physical abuser and the police helped me and my child escape for our lives…I can’t remember his social security number. Can I get any benefits? He was a Contractor Worker?

  19. I havnt been able to work since 2003..due to work injury..and now all kinds of medical issues..i was married 13 yrs to one and only 58…my ex spouse got his ssdi over 2 yrs ago at 46..i fild for disabilty in 2003…went to apeals and hearings…have a hearing coming up soon..can i get ssdi on his ssdi..and or use his credits due to he made more money than me

  20. My 2nd husband and I have been married 17 yrs. his ex wife remarried but divorced within 7 yrs. if my husband passed away will I get his social security beings mine is soo small or can his first wife claim any of it even tho she remarried and divorced under 10 yrs?

    1. If your husband dies, you will be able to get social security retirement widow benefits. Don’t concern yourself with whether his former wife will get anything — it doesn’t affect what you will get.

  21. I was married to my 1st husband for 14 years when he died. I remarried and my 2nd husband just passed after 17 years. Would I be able to collect my 1st husbands social security if it was the larger amount?

  22. I’m turning 62 in September. I was married to my 2nd husband for 11 1/2 years, we were divorced and he passed away in 2004. I’m still working a full time job, which I plan on doing for a while yet. Am I eligible to collect his SS when I turn 62 even though I am still working? I never remarried. Thank you.

  23. I am divorced was married for 13 years . I became disabled 10 years ago from a pit bull attack tore both arms off I draw disability but not much can I get the devrivative benefit from my x social security and at what age I am 63 now

  24. If I was married for just over 6 years, and my spouse died, am I able to collect any portion of his social security if I do not remarry?

  25. I was married for 16 years got divorced. He was union electrician SS say they have nothing on him. He says he gets SS but wont give the SS Number what can I do. I have marriage and divorce Papers. HELP

  26. I was married for 23 years and I divorced him. . He remarried again but not me. He is two years younger than me . I am 61 he is 59. He’s been younger than me , does it affect when I can collect my SS benefits. If he dies can I collect widows benefits since he remarried?

    1. You cannot collect social security benefit until you are both 62 or older. You cannot collect widow benefits since he is still alive and you are not married to him. When he dies, you can collect surviving divorced spouse benefits even though he is married.

  27. my husband has been deceased for 10 years we were still married would I be able to collect his SSI after 10 years of being deceased

    1. SSI is an income supplement to enable low income people to live. You cannot collect his. When you reach age 60 or older, you can collect reduced Social Security retirement widow’s benefits based on his earnings history, if that provides a greater benefit than your own benefit. To receive full benefits you must wait until full retirement age 66.

  28. I was married for a bit over ten years. My husband and I were divorced at that time. He has since passed away. I never remarried nor did he. Will I be eligible for widows benefits at age 60 even if im still working>

    1. I was married 9 years and 1 month. Been divorce 30 years. Been getting disability for 7 years. Just turned 65 can I draw social security for my ex spouse . I never remarried.

  29. I am 55 and on permanent disability benefits they are very low about $600 a month I was married from 1984 – 2000 would I be eligible for any income from ex husband benefits? I have not remarried

  30. I was married to my first husband over 10 years we divorced I got married again was married over 10 years to the second one we are divorced now they both are drawing their disability retirement I am age 60 drawing SSI disability cannot work I’m totally disabled would I be title to draw off my first husband or do you go by which is greater thank you so much

  31. I was married 23 years. I have been divorced 12 years. I did not work during my marriage, mainly because I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis in 1990. I recently was awarded SSD, but my amount is only $182 a month. My ex spouse’s award will be $3000. He is 3 years younger than me and I will be 59 next month. Can I get spousal benefits now because I am disabled? I was disabled through most of my marriage, but did not understand I could file for disability. My husband made a very good income, so I never had to worry. Now, I live in poverty and I am barely surviving. Thank you! ?

  32. Hi and thank you all so much,
    I was married 18 years. We made the choice to have me take my Social Security benefit at age 62, early. I took a pretty big hit. He encouraged this choice saying he would delay till 70.5 and receive a higher benefit for ‘us’.
    Now there is no us and I am left with a loss. Can I take the difference his retirement at 70 or now?
    He was born in 1951 and is 66 now and I am 65.
    I was also hoping I could suspend my benefits now? Due to the divorce?
    I have been on the net for 3 hours researching all this. I can not find the answer on the Social Security website.
    thanks so much again.
    Alone in Seattle

  33. I am 53 years old and disabled. I am divorced from my husband of 20 years. I was a stay at home housewife so I don’t have enough work credits to claim disability on my own. Can I claim disability off my ex-husband’s work credits? How does that work?

  34. I’ve been married for 33yrs to my husband and he cheated on me with a young girl had a son he’s now 7yrs old and I tried to make our marriage work for 7yrs and he travel back and forth from new York to Myrtle Beach SC maybe 6 times out of the year and never moved here at all so my question is can I collect SS benefits from him now or if he passed away or if we divorce will I still be able to get his SS benefits

    1. You are eligible for spousal benefits when you are both of retirement age and he begins collecting benefits. If you divorce, you are eligible for divorced spouse benefits once you are both of retirement age. If he dies, you are eligible for widow benefits (if still married when he dies) or surviving divorced spouse benefits (if divorced when he dies) once you are age 60 or older.

  35. I was married to my ex husband for 11 years and he is collecting disability benefits he is 57 and I am 55. My question is am I entitled when I reach retirement age will I be able to draw from his retirement? I have not remarried .

    1. If you were awarded a portion of his retirement in your divorce, be sure that you have put a Qualified Domestic Relations Order in place so you can receive your share when he retires (or the earliest date at which he could retire). If the divorce agreement did not address the retirement, then see an attorney about opening up your case to divide the pension.

  36. I was married for 12 yrs and now divorced. My x is 18 months younger. Can i sign for my SS# at 62 then switch to his when he turns 62. I guess just need to know the best way to do it.

    1. When you apply for social security benefits, you will get paid the greatest benefit to which you are entitled. It may indeed work out just the way that you outline, depending on how old you are when you begin to collect.

  37. I’ve been married for 18 years and wanting a divorce and plan on getting remarried will i still qualify for benefits from ex husband income once he passes away? He is very sick and he’s 48 and his doctor told him he will be lucky to live past 50 due to his illness. I’m also ssa. How does that work? I’m hope he lives longer because we have 2 underage children so I’m in hurry that to happen but im just wanting to know .

    1. No, you won’t qualify for social security benefits from your ex if you remarry, you will qualify for social security benefits from your new spouse’s earnings history once you are of retirement age, if those benefits exceed your own.

  38. Maryann antonetti

    My husband just passed away in july we were together 19 years he was receiving benefits because he was disabled question is can my husband ex-wife collect his benefits before me because they were together 7 years she never remarried but we did ssi told me i have to wait to I’m 62 but i wanted to know if she can collect his benefits since she was his first wife and older than him

  39. I was married for 31 yrs and divorced 10 yrs ago. Neither of us remarried. I am now 62 and my ex is 66. He retired this month and says his benefits are $1700. If I retire now mine will be greatly reduced at $600. Can I receive any of my ex’s benefits now or will I have to wait until full retirement age?

    1. When you apply for social security benefits, they will pay you the greatest benefit for which you qualify, your own benefit or the divorced spouse benefit, whichever is greater. Whatever benefit you get will be reduced if you begin receiving benefits before full retirement age of 66+/

  40. I am 56, and going through a divorce. My wife is only 45 but has much greater benefits accrued. In order for me to claim 50% of her rate, do I have to wait until she reaches 62, which will put me at73

  41. Divorced after 42 yrs. 62 yrs old. Quit my business to take care of elderly mom. I have no income. Can I collect ex husbands ssi?

    1. Since you are 62, you can collect the greater of (1) reduced benefits based on your earnings history, or (2) if your former spouse is 62 or older, you can collect reduced divorced spouse benefits based on his earnings history.

  42. My ex husband will be turning 60 I am 70 retired at 62. He is on SS disability.we were married 11 years I don’t get much SS. Can I collect off him.

  43. my husband died last yr he was married for 6 months on his first marriage im retired can i collect his ss benefits if i made more than he did im 54

  44. If I am 62 and collecting SS as a divorced spouse and my x-husband starting collecting before his full retirement age, is my benefit based on what he is collecting or what he would have collected had he waited until full retirement age? And if I collect only my x-spouse benefit at age 62, can I then switch to collect my full benefit amount at my full retirement rate? (born in 1959)

    1. Your benefit is based on his earnings record. If you begin collecting before age 62, your benefits will be forever reduced because you didn’t wait until full retirement age. When you begin collecting benefits, they will pay you the highest benefit to which you are entitled, your own or divorced spouse benefit. You don’t get to decide which record to collect on.

      1. I am 62. Married to 1st husband for 10yrs was homemaker. Remarried 30 yrs. Self employed until now. Will retire at 65 or 66. My husband is older than me can I retire before him on half of my spouse’s SS. Also says I have 32 units. Very confused.

        1. It sounds as though you don’t have much of a social security record in your own name, since you have only 32 quarters of coverage (payments made into the system), so it isn’t likely you qualify for social security on your own account. Once your spouse has applied for his benefits, you can collect spousal benefits which are about 50% of the benefits he’s entitled to (not including the extra amount he’ll get for waiting past full retirement age to collect, if that’s what he’s doing).

  45. I am on ssdi for the last 2 years. I was married for 20 years to my spouse and we were divorced in 2015. He recently died. Am I able to continue collecting my SSDI and how long do I have to wait now since he has died? Will I loose my SSDI or will I get both my SSDI and his SS now since he has died. I am only 50 years old. He was not at retirement age when he died. Neither of us remarried. Please help explain this to me.

    1. Talk to social security to see if you qualify to start receiving widow retirement benefits, and if they would exceed your disability benefits. There is a special rule that might allow you to begin collecting reduced retirement benefits on his record at age 50. You don’t get both, it’s either/or

  46. My ex husband and I were married for 23 years and I am 46 years old. We have 4 children together. He unexpectedly passed away 3 years ago, shortly after we divorced. He was the one who always worked, while I stayed home to care for our children.

    Can I receive SS benefits even though I am 46? I did receive “survivors benefits” for a period, until my youngest child turned 16 and she will continue receiving “dependent benefits” until 18.

    What are my options, if any?

    1. Once you are of retirement age (reduced benefits at age 60 or full benefits at age 66-ish), you can begin receiving surviving divorced spouse benefits. Unless you have other children under the age of 16, you won’t receive benefits now.

  47. If I am 14 years older then my husband and he is still working, married 33 years this year, but I think we are getting divorced, Should I get a lawyer for alimony or can I get half of his social sec. Or does he have to be retired. I am unable to work, I had my own business for 20 years but did not have a good accountant and I only get 300 a month. What can I do other than getting a lawyer? Should I call social security?

    1. Talk to an attorney about how alimony works under the laws of your state.
      Once your former spouse is of retirement age (62 or older) then you can receive divorced spouse benefits if they exceed your own benefits. Until then, you can get your own benefits — reduced benefits at age 62, full benefits at 66+. Apply for social security about three months before you want to begin collecting.

  48. I have been separated from my husband since February 16, 2010 and as of 2016 I was put on disability and I’m not 62 how can I go about collecting from my husband since we were never divorced nor was there a legal separation ever done and we both reside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  49. Married legally 31 yrs husband retired from navy disabled live in different states never divorced what benefits am I entitled to.

  50. I was married for 21 years.. I married the second time but divorced after 3 years.. Im 55 years old but receiving SSD and my first ex husband is 68.. Entitled to receive benefits from my him??

  51. My first husband passed away. We were married long enough to have a child, that child is 41 years old. My third husband I am divorced from we were married over 16 years. He’s 2 years 11 months younger than I am I am 60. I have not remarried. I am working at this time. I was told that I could collect derivative benefits since I was married over 10 years to my last husband. But what I’m reading here stays that we both have to be at retirement age. I’m almost wondering if I could collect anything off my first husband but we weren’t married that long. I was told I could collect derivative benefits once I turned 59 and a half. Can you please explain to me what the best course of action is for me in the future. I would like to be able to collect and continue to work. There are a couple people I work with that collect and right now they can only work and earn a certain amount per year but after a specific length of time they can continue to collect Social Security and work as long as they want to and earned whatever they want to. I need help to sort this out. I sure appreciate any help you can be thank you so much.

    1. If you begin collecting benefits at your minimum retirement age of 62, your payments will be reduced by around 25% for collecting early, and will be further reduced by 50% of all your earnings over $17,040. So it doesn’t make sense to begin collecting before full retirement age of 66+ if you are still working. It is likely that your own benefits will exceed the divorced spouse benefits you are eligible for on Husband #3 once he is of minimum retirement age. Once you are age 66+ you can collect your benefits and they won’t be reduced.

  52. I’m 57 years old and disabled on SSI was married 12 years. He is 68 on Social Security can I draw off his Social Security NOW?

    1. It is possible that you can get divorced spouse retirement benefits instead of SSI, but I’m guessing that your SSI exceeds the retirement benefits that you could receive under his earnings record, which is why they are paying you SSI instead of retirement benefits.

  53. My ex of 24 yrs is drawing his retirement an disability his 57 An I’m 54 An I’m on mental disability he said I could draw off him so can u

  54. I been marry 25 years l am almost 58 years old l dont work.since. 2010 my kids are.25 and 20 if he dies do l get any

  55. i see all the info regards a wife getting the ex hubby’s ssi bt what if The wife earned more money & abandoned teh Marriage cannot be located to fidn to serve divorce papers and yoru married over 10 years, because athst exactly My situation My wife earned more incoem over the course of our lives she decided she was gay and ran off with her GF, turned off all forms of communcation and left teh state am I entitled to anything?

    1. Once you are of retirement age, you can begin collecting social security. Once she is of retirement age and begins collecting her benefits, you can receive spousal benefits based on her earnings record if those benefits exceed your own benefits. If you are divorced at that time, you do not need to wait for her to actually begin collecting her benefits, as long as she is of retirement age 62 or older.

  56. Currently married for two years with a baby now. Husband is on disability social security.. we are going to divorce and am not sure how much custody he will fight me for. I will be sole provider at some point for our daughter.. is it true that if we divorce, ssi will take money from my paychecks to pay his ssi???? And my daughters ssi will go away as well???

    1. I don’t know the answer to that question, since I don’t know the rules for disability. That is a question that Social Security Administration staff could answer for you, so call them to ask that question.

  57. I am 59. I have been been collecting disability benefits since 2010 due to illness . My husband is thinking of an early retirement at 62. He is aware of the lower amount of money he will receive because of retiring early. Will my disability benefits increase or decrease in this case? Or will they be affected at all?

    1. If your own retirement benefits or your spousal retirement benefits exceed the disability benefits, you can switch to those once you are of retirement age 62. But if your disability benefits are higher, you will stay on disability benefits. At age 66 you will switch to retirement benefits.

      1. I was previously married for 11 years and divorced. I went on SSI at age 37. I remarried at 55. I’m divorcing my current husband of 9 years. I’m going to be 65 this year. If I receive divorced spouse benefits or retirement benefits from my 73 yr old ex first husband will the benefits be reduced if I apply before age 66.

  58. I was with my husband 15 years but married 6 but had 3 children with him! Am I entitled to his ssi ? Regardless of the time we were married?

  59. I am a 53year old disabled lady. I receive $750 a month. And a medicade medical card. My ex husband passed away. And his widowed wife contacted me about the benefits that I can receive, since we were married almost 11 years. What I would like to know. Would this cause me to lose my medical insurance. Due to that I have many many medical issues.

  60. I’m 50 and collecting disability benefits, I was married for 22yrs. My ex husband is still working and not of retirement age. Am I able to collect off of his social security?

  61. I am 57 and on as I. I have been married for 19 yrs. But will be divorcing this yr. He is 8 yrs younger and not working and hasn’t for about 5 yrs. Can I collect from his as. Or do I have to wait until he collects.

    1. I don’t know what you mean by “his as.” If you are talking about social security retirement benefits, you may collect divorced spouse benefits once you are both of retirement age 62 or older, if those benefits exceed your own benefits. If you collect sooner than full retirement age 66+, your benefits will be reduced.

  62. So if I was married 25 years and I am now 51 and divorced . If I stay unmarried and at 66 which is my Full retirement age I will receive 50 percent of my ex SSI Benefits since I don’t qualify because of being a stay home mom. and #2. If he died would I receive 100 percent at age 66 under surviving ex spouse.

  63. Im 59 years old.married 1992 and divorced in 2012 for my ex husband. Got married 2015 on my 2 nd husband until present. If i retire will my ex husband can get a portion of my ss pension? If i will divorce my present husband after 2 years, who will get a portion of my pension? Thanks

    1. When you are both of retirement age of 62 or older, he can collect benefits based on his own earnings or divorced spouse benefits that are the equivalent of 50% of your benefits, reduced if he begins collecting before full retirement age. If you divorce your current husband, he will not be eligible to collect based on your earnings history since you were not married for 10 years or longer. To be clear, no one ‘will get part of your social security’. You’ll get your own benefits, and they will get their benefits based on the highest amount to which they are entitied.

  64. When I took early retirement at 62 I asked the SS person I was dealing with about ex spouse benefits. He stated to me that at full retirement I would be able to switch over to my ex’s deceased benefits and receive appx twice the amount in benefits and I wouldn’t have to repay or be penalizrd for taking a early retirement.Not really believing him I grilled him up and down about it and he reaffirmed his calculations several times. This colored my decision to take early retirement. Did he giving me the correct advice?

    1. Probably. It is my understanding that surviving spouse benefits are not reduced even though you claimed your own benefits before full retirement age. And it sounds as though you were in the special window that allowed you to choose which benefit to take, before the laws changed a few years ago.

  65. I was married for 34 years and then widowed. I am now 63, been remarried for 6 years and my current husband is 57. I was recently told that I may qualify to receive my deceased husbands social security. Is this true?

    1. If you and your current husband divorce, then you will be eligible to receive widow benefits based on your previous spouse’s earnings history if those benefits exceed your own. If your current husband dies you will receive widow benefits based on husband 1, husband 2 or your own benefits, whichever is higher.

  66. I was married for 21 years 1987-2008. We had a daughter together in 2005 who is now 12 years old. My Ex husband never remarried and passed way last October of 2017 7 months ago. I did get social security for my minor daughter set up in December 2017 and she receives a monthly check. I am entitled to Ex Spousal benefits if I am 53 years old and never remarried? Also he had a pension from his career job through the PBGC and was drawing monthly on that am I entitled to any of the pension since I have been taking care of our minor child for the last 3 years full time due to his ALS diagnosis? Thank you for the help.

    1. If you are taking care of a child who is receiving benefits because of a parent’s death, then you may be able to get benefits as well until she is 16. Contact social security administration to find out more. As for the pension, your divorce agreement should have provided as to what portion of his pension you receive, if any. If his pension was not discussed in the divorce, contact an attorney right away to see about getting your share of an omitted asset.

  67. Mavalyn Campbell

    I’ve been married from 2008 October 17th October 17th of 2018 would make it 10 years I’ve been married to my husband I got married in the state of Connecticut but now live in New York City I would love to know what benefits am I entitled to gain from my husband

    1. When you are of retirement age (62 or older) and your husband files for social security benefits, you may begin receiving your own benefits or spousal benefits, whichever is higher. Spousal benefits generally are the equivalent of 50% of what your husband is entitled to receive. If you begin your benefits before full retirement age (66+) your benefits will be reduced.

  68. I am 63 and divorced from a man I was married to for 11 years. He is 56 years old. If I retire early can I collect social security based on his earnings which is twice what i earns

    1. Once you are both of retirement age of 62 or older, your social security retirement benefits will be the greater of your own benefits or divorced spouse benefits (which are the equivalent of 50% of what he would be entitled to based on his earnings record). Until then you can collect based on your own earnings record only. If you begin collecting benefits before age 66, your benefits will be reduced.

  69. Sherrie Francis

    I been married for 6 yrs he was previously married for 20 he recently got terminally ill. At time of death can I collect or does she only collect survivor benefits

  70. I’m 47 years old and my husband and I divorced on 2016. He remarried and they just had their one year anniversary. He was killed in an accident last week. My question is, will I be able to draw social security off of him. We were married for 24 yrs.

  71. I was married 16 years, divorced for 3 years. I became disabled last year and I heard ex-hubs was disabled too last year, heart attack and stroke. I think his is collecting SSDI, but he is not retired, he is 51 and I am 55. I am entitled to SSDI based on his income, or do I get SSI, as I am not working and havent worked in the last 10 years?

    1. I don’t know much about disability or supplemental income benefits, so you’ll need to contact social security. My understanding is that it has to do with your circumstances, not someone else’s, and is based on your record.

  72. Ollie Drake_Atkins

    I’m 61 years old will be 62 in October I get 713 a month SSA my husband and I are not together he is 69 years old and he gets ss can I get part of his benefits we or not devoiced or neither remarried

  73. Ollie Drake_Atkins

    My husband and I been married for 21years but we are now separated can I get part of his benefits

    1. If you are both of retirement age and he is receiving social security retirement benefits, you can receive your own benefits or spousal benefits that are equal to 50% of what he receives. Once you divorce, those benefits will convert to be divorced spouse benefits, if they are based on his earnings.

  74. My current husband is going to be 62 in Nov. We have a 12 year old child so he plans on taking SS at that time and claiming the additional child benefit. I am employed but 12 years younger. Can I leave my current job and collect spousal benefit as the caretaker of our 12 year old ? Would I still be able to collect on my own SS benefit when I turn 62?

  75. I had a stroke at the brain and had to stop working. I was married for 20 years and we divorced. He re-married but I did not. I receive $1,370.00 a month in disability. My e-husband will be 66 in January he re-married shortly after our divorce to a much younger woman. I filed with Social Security under m own Social Security. Can I file for Social Security under my ex-husband? If not what do I need to know and do? .

  76. I’m divorced 3 years now, married for 16 years. I’m 55, my ex-spouse is 51. He worked civil service job for 25 years and the last 10 years made about $100k per years. I found out my ex-spouse had a massive stroke and heart attack and is now on SSDI and can no longer work. I want to apply for SSI or SSDI, due to illness, I’m not sure which one I qualify for. Do I get 50% of his SSDI amount or the standard amount for SSI?? I have no idea which one is for me. I was a homemaker for the majority of our marriage.

    1. I don’t know much about SSI and SSDI, but I think SSI is a welfare program for those with extremely low income. SSDI is for those with disability. Contact Social Security Administration and ask them to determine which you are eligible for.

  77. Barbara A Bernard

    I am 46 years old and disabled. I have had a number of back surgery’s and am still unable to work. I was married for 10 year and divorced him because he was using drugs. I get a very small check at the moment after my Medicare is deducted I receive $12.00 a month. Because I am disabled can I draw off of his social security? I can’t even afford to eat properly because i can’t afford to pay the house Bill’s and buy food.

      1. I wanted to know that. I am totally and permanently disabled Dr say I can never work again. My 27 year marriage ended divorced for 4 now.he is 54 still works on oil rig. Can I file for his social security? He did not even show up in divorce court.

        1. Once you are of retirement age, you can get retirement benefits based on your earnings record or 50% of what he can get on his earnings record, whichever is higher. Or you can get your social security disability payments, if those are higher than either of the retirement benefit computations

  78. I was married for 17 yrs, my ex husband died Feb. of this year. He took early retirement at 62. He was getting 1700.00 a month. I took early retirement at 62, I only get 760.00. What will I get from his ss? I was told different amounts. Thank you.

    1. Your surviving divorced spouse benefit is based on 100% of his earnings history. Contact social security right away to tell them that he died and you were married for over 10 years, and so you are entitled to benefits. They can tell you the amount, and if it exceeds your own that’s what you will get.

  79. Married 20 yrs divorce he remarried still married to second wife ,He collects disability 2000 a month I am 65 he is 67 ,how much will I be able to receive when I turned 66

    1. When you begin receiving social security retirement benefits, you will receive benefits based on your earnings history or an amount equal to 50% of the retirement benefits he is entitled to based on his history, whichever is greater. Social security will make those computations based on their records.

  80. I am seriously debating on early retirement at age 62, was married for 17 years and divorced. He earnes substantially more than I do, will I have to wait until he draws social security before I am eligible for this divorce Benifits? He is now age 57

  81. I am partially disabled since 2016 when I turn 50 with health issues. How long do I have to wait to get the deprvtive benefits from my ex husband we where married from 4/83 to 6/94? He is still working he is only 58 years old. Do I have to wait until he retires or am I not eligible for it ?

  82. Hello, I was married for 25yrs., I’m 51.
    Ive been divorced for 3 & not married. I had a surgery while married for a tumor and it has left me unable to work. Btw I have been raising kids and did not have enough earnings credit to apply for SSDI. I am currently going through the SSI appeals game? Dr says this is normal being strung along to get approved. My question is: I recently was told that I can get ssdi based on my ex husband’s earnings, he has enough credits. Is this true? I also started applying for SSI 1 month before getting divorce. If this is true….can I just switch & apply for Ssdi instead? He is currently working and not married.

    1. If someone from social security gave you the information that you can get ssdi based on his earnings, then likely it is true. If it came from someone else, then treat it as rumor and ask social security it if it is true.

  83. My daughters father and i were together 7 1/2 years before he passed away. Soc sec does give my daughter survival benefits, but my question is would i be entitled as well she was 1 when he passed and is now 13? I been reading different articles and from what im understanding i should have been receiving either surviving wife or mothers or fathers ins. Becayse we were together for atleast 9 months prior to his death. Plz help

  84. I get 850$ a month in Ssdi I will be 62 soon my xhusband gets about 1400$ a month will I draw from him and get my benefits where I get half of his amount and still get mine?how does that work

    1. You can get your disability or retirement benefits, whichever is higher. Your retirement benefits are based on your own earning history or your former spouse’s, if you were married for at least 10 years. Those divorced spouse benefits are the equivalent of 50% of what he is entitled to get under his earnings history. You only get one benefit.

    1. You can receive surviving divorced spouse benefits if they exceed the benefits payable on your own account. You may received reduced benefits are early as age 60, and full benefits at your full retiremenet age of 66+.

  85. I was married to my ex spouse for 18 years. He divorced me when I became disabled due to having aids. In my court docs his attorney says they will state he gave me the aids as he was having bi-sexual relations jut at the right time in san francisco. The court awarded me only 650 when we divorced. He went back to lower it and got a 75 dollar a month decrease. He lied in the testimony but I did not have proof at the time. He has never paid me back for a joint 401-k because he never told his work he was married and he has never taken a life policy on himself as court ourdered. court said why have you not faught him for it? I have no money for attorneys, I represented myself the last timel Now I know he has several retirement checks totally adding up to 6000 dollars a month and has 39,000 in his savings and has bought a new truck and two new Harley Davidson He has never remarried. Can I ask him to pay court costs and motion that he prove what happened to 401k and where is life insurance policy as well as tell the truth about what he paid to live the forest service 75 a month rent? I could never work again because the meds make me have heart attacks and my t cell count is still only 66. If he caused my disability and I am the one with a master’s degree and should have made more would social security listen to me

    1. It sounds as though your divorce has been final for a while. So no matter what it seems to you he did wrong during the marriage and since the divorce, the only thing that matters legally at this point is what you were awarded in the divorce. If you were awarded a portion of a 401(k) and you did not receive it, or if he was supposed to name you as beneficiary on life insurance and did not, you can take legal action to have those provisions enforced. I do not know if you can ask for court costs. As for social security, your education and his culpability regarding your disability will have no effect on benefits you can receive from them, so there is no need to share that information with them.

  86. Hello,
    I was married for 15 years, we divorced, in the divorce settlement I signed a waiver of social security, retirement benefits, and 401k. He has remarried but I have not. Can I receive any benefits?

  87. Question? I’m 66 yrs. old, I’m retired I receive monthly Social Security Benefits, not SSD. I’ve been married to this one man for over 30 years, he is my senior age 79 retired from Ford Motor Company after 30 yrs., he receives Social Security Benefits and Pension for that long. We have been separated for over 30 years he deserted us over 30 years ago. My son born in 1979 passed at 30 in 2010 we never received anything from his dad or as his wife, not divorced, been separated over 30 years. Am I entitled to any of his Social Security even if I receive my own Social Security Benefits?

    1. As your husband’s souse, you can receive your own Social Security retirement benefits, or an amount that is equal to 50% of his benefits, whichever is greater. You can’t receive both. I’m guessing that Social Security has already made the appropriate calculations and is paying you the largest amount to which you are entitled.

  88. Im applying for ss disability , how would it work to draw off of my ex ? Ive been married and divorced twice . First time for 24 years however we were legally separated for manyy of those years ,the second marriage lasted 15 years .

    1. I don’t have much knowledge about how disability is figured, but I thought it is based on your own earnings history and your own disability, not on a spouse’s record or former spouse’s record. Check with social security (if and when the government reopens) to find out for sure.

  89. I am divorced after 19 years of marriage and i’m on ss disability I am 56 and my ex is60 this year. When and if I can collect on his ss and will I still be able to get my ss disability benefits too.

    1. I do not believe you can collect on both. Once you are of retirement age, your disability will convert to retirement payments, and you will get the greater of what you are receiving or a divorced spouse benefit based on 50% of his earnings record, whichever is greater.

  90. Javon Patterson

    If was with my my wife for 15 years before we got marry, but she get Social Security for her dad which is dead. Could I still get Social security off her

  91. I am disabled can I collect my ex husbands ss. I am 50 he is 54 and working. Working on oil rigs making good money. I Divorced after 27 years of marriage. What do i qualify for and how do I get it?.

  92. I am 62.I was married for 21 years.Together for 11.A friend came to take care of me.I am on SSD. I worked,but my disease got so bad I could not work any more.My caregiver and I fell in love.We want to get married.Could I still receive my ex husband’s benifits.He is 65 and remarried.I have been single for 30 years.But is it worth getting remarried.

    1. Once you are of full retirement age your disability will convert to retirement benefits. At that point you’ll get the greater of your own benefits or benefits based on 50% of your former spouse’s earnings history. If you are remarried, then your retirement benefits will be the greater of your own benefits or 50% of your current spouse’s earnings history, whichever is greater.

  93. I’m 44 was married 27 years. Recently divorced. I was in a wreck 3 years ago shattered my spines also have COPD…. I need to know if I can collect off his ssdi… hes still working making over 140,000 a year. I cant work and still trying to get the ssi because I didnt work the past 10 years. So am I screwed or can I go off his.

  94. My husband plans to retire in 2 years at 67 and I will be 62 at that age. Can I collect the spousal benefit off of my husband social security at 62 and then claim my social security at 66 and 10 months which is my full retirement?

    1. When you apply for social security benefits, they will pay you the greater of your own benefits or your spousal benefits based on your husband’s earnings history. It will be reduced if you collect earlier than age 66 and 10 months. You don’t have the option of choosing which one you get, and your benefit will be forever reduced if you begin benefits before full retirement age.

  95. I turn 66 this coming July my wife of 47 years turns 65 in Sept. can see draw half my SS once I turn 66 or does she have to wait til she turns 66 to get half my SS. She has been a house wife for over 18 years so her SS will be minimum.

  96. My husband and I separated in Jan 1993. I had not seen or heard from him for 25years from that time. I thought we were divorced (his initiation). As it turns out, we were not. I just found out we were not divorced so having married in Sept 1976, we were still legally married up until his passing in 2019, which works out to 42 years and some months. I collect SS now (my own) what do I need to do to find out out whether I qualify for his?

  97. I was married for over 10 years. My ex-husband is 7 years younger than me. I will be of retirement age (66) next July, he will be 59. He may be eligible for the maximum retire amount when he is of retirement age, 66 or 67. My SSI will only be 900.00/month. at 66 yrs. old. When he retires at 67 yrs. old his will be around $2,800 or more. In order to receive the maximum, should I collect my own until he can retire? Should I start collecting on his since next July if he will only be 59 next year? My teacher’s retirement is less than $800.00/mth. I fall under the WEP/GPO rule. Please help me with the math on this and what to do next July when I turn 66.

    1. Once you are full retirement age, you can apply for social security benefits based on your own account, though those may be minimal since you worked under teachers retirement instead of social security for some of the time. Once he is of retirement age 62 or older, social security can take your former spouse’s earnings history into account in making the payments, though your teacher’s retirement government pension offset may reduce or eliminate that payment.

  98. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN CLAIMING AS SINGLE VERSUS MARRIED? I am 63.5 yrs old and contemplating collecting now. My husband is 61 yrs old until December. Since my Husband is younger is there something to consider here? I do not work but he still does.

    1. If you collect before full retirement age of 66+, your social security retirement benefits will be reduced. Once you begin collecting and your spouse is 62 or older, he may begin collecting too, either his own benefits or spousal benefits based on your earnings history. If you and he were to divorce, he wouldn’t have to wait for you to begin collecting benefits to begin collecting divorced spouse benefits, if those exceeded his own.

  99. Married 25+ yrs and the husband abandons his wife who’s on SS. Waits till she passes away then wants to collect her SS…is this possible? Can it be stopped

  100. I have an appointment set for early May to apply for my SS. I will be 62 in June. My ex and I were married for 31 years. My ex won’t be 62 until next April. If I begin to collect my SS in June, I’m under the impression that I will receive 50% of his SS when he turns 62, not necessarily when he retires. I’m not sure if he will work until the full age. He’s in the medical field and his SS will be substantial. Will I only be able to collect on what he’s entitled to if he retires at 62, or will I be entitled to what he would be entitled to at the full retirement of 66+? I’m confused and can’t find a clear cut answer. Your input is appreciated.

    1. It sounds as though you are going to begin collecting benefits as soon as you turn 62. Those benefits will be reduced because you are collecting before full retirement age. They will be based on your own earnings history initially, since your ex is not yet 62. Once he is 62, if his earnings history will give you a greater benefit, they will increase your monthly benefit, though it will forever be reduced because you began collecting at age 62. If by working more years until full retirement age his top 35 years increases, then your benefit will increase each year accordingly.

  101. If my husband and I are separated but not fully divorced until after the 10 year mark, am I still eligible for his SS benefits after the divorce is final and I turn 62?

    1. To be eligible for divorced spouse social security retirement benefits, you must have been married for 10 years or longer, from date of marriage to date the divorce is final. Social Security Administration has no interest in whether you were living together or separated or what during that period, they are only concerned that those two dates are 10 years or more apart.

  102. I was married 14 years then divorced. Married again for 8 years and got divorced. I am 56 years old and dating for 4 years talking marriage. He 65 about to retire. Can I collect any benefits on my 1st husband he passed away 10 years ago? Also if I do eventually marry for the 3rd time would be eligible for any social security benefits. If yes, when?

    1. Once you are age 60 or older, you may file for reduced surviving divorced spouse benefits on your first husband if you are not married at that time. If you are married at that time, then you will not be able to collect surviving divorced spouse benefits, unless your marriage took place at age 60 or older. If you do remarry before age 60, then at age 62 you may collect your own benefits or spousal benefits based on your current husband’s history, whichever is higher.

  103. Lucia teixeira

    I been married for 15 years my ex husband is 55year old and he retired and gets ssi disability. I am 35 years old can I get some his ssi are I have to wait .

  104. Please clarify…is this article saying that even if I’ve been married and caring for my disabled husband for ALMOST 29 YEARS (while also raising our son), if we now got a divorce, I would be entitled to ONLY 50% of his s.s. income AFTER I TURN 66 YEARS OLD (and if I ask for it between age 62 and 66, I’D GET EVEN LESS, and if I ask for it BEFORE age 62, I SIMPLY CANNOT GET ANY OF IT)?!

    1. This article is not about what alimony you might be entitled to when you divorce. Talk to an attorney who knows the laws of your state about that issue, if that is your concern.
      This article about collecting your Social Security retirement benefits when you are retirement age. Those are your retirement benefits, not a share of his benefits. Under social security law, you can get reduced benefits at age 62, and full benefits at age 66+.

  105. Married for 14 years and we divorced. We remarried each other and have been for 9.5 years upon his death in Dec 2018. Will SSA allow me to claim his benefit since our most recent marriage is less than 10 years? Even though we were married to each other for almost 24 years? and we remarried each other?

  106. My 1st husband passed away in 1992, he was 10 yrs older( if alive would be 70 now) , we were married 11 yrs. Our 2 children were receiving $900 per month each survival benefits. I remarried before I was 60 , now over 60 but divorced and still working. If I decide to retire at 62 from Reading your posts I am entitled to collect Survival benefits from Deceased husband. It’s my understanding that the $ 900 my children were receiving was 75% of the max SS benefit of $1200.00. If the max benefit amount was $1200 in 1992, How does SS calculate what the max survival benefits I could receive from husband #1 ?

  107. Hello. Was married to my second husband from Sept. 1985 until his death in airplane accident Oct. 1990.
    I remarried Sept. 1995. That marriage ended in divorce Feb. 2004.
    I turned 66 in March of this year (2019) and want to file for SS benefits.
    I have read and re-read the Social Security websites and don’t know for sure if the “10 year” marriage period still applies to my situation. Any help clarifying this for me would be appreciated.

    1. The 10-year rule applies to your second marriage, and it sounds as though you were married only 9 years, so you cannot collect social security benefits based on the earnings record of Husband #2. But you are eligible for surviving spouse benefits based on Husband #1, if those benefits exceed your own.

  108. Linda Spangler

    My ex and I were together for 11 yrs. We lived together for 5 years and were married for 6yrs. We had 2 children together during that time. (1970 – 1981) Is there any way I would be entitled to his SS. He passed away in 2003.

    1. You were not married for 10 years or longer, so you do not qualify for benefits based on his social security record. If you had still been married at the date of his death, you would have qualified for widow benefits, if those exceeded your own. Social security has no interest in how long you lived together or whether you had children together.

  109. I am 55 and separated from my husband of 15 yrs. I collect disability and SSI, he collects ssd , am I able to collect from his ss ?

  110. I was married for 9 yrs and supported my ex husband and his daughter most of the duration of my marriage while he was unemployed getting his education.. i have never remarried and am barely able to survive on my income.. am i able to collect something from him?? He is now extremely successful and he has mot remarried wither..

    1. If your divorce agreement provided that you were entitled to alimony if you needed it, then you might be eligible. If not, if your divorce occurred within the last year, you might be able to set aside any waiver of alimony. But if your divorce occurred some time ago and you waived getting alimony, then that’s what you did and you probably can’t get it now. You can talk to an attorney familiar with the laws of your state to see if there’s any approach that would work for you.


    I am 59 years old. I was married for 23 years, divorced and am receiving court ordered spousal support. Ex husband is ill and wants to apply for Social Security Disability. He said he can’t afford to pay spousal support anymore and said I can apply for his SS disability benefits. If this is true, can I collect at age 59 or do I have to wait until I’m 62? Thank you.

  112. I’m getting a divorce this year but I’ve been married over 10 years but we separated 1 year of married just didn’t have the money to divorce. Can she claim ss

  113. Hi there,

    I am 42 years old and have been happily married to my husband for 22 years… he is 72.
    We have no children.
    He has been collecting Social Security since the age of 64.
    If something happens to him do I get any of his SS benefits??

  114. I was married to my ex husband for 4 years and then we divorced. We had one daughter and over the years grew close again, and even bought houses next door to each other to make the shared parenting easier on her, and we remarried when our daughter was 15. We were married for 7 additional years before he died at the age of 68 (I had nothing to do with it! Everyone always makes jokes. He had complications from a minor surgery.)

    My question is, do I qualify to collect under his social security as we were married for 11 3/4 years total, or does the 10 years you mention have to be contiguous rather than in total?

    1. If you and he were married at the time that he died, then you are eligible to collect widow benefits.

      If you were divorced at the time that he died, then you are not eligible. Since there was such a long gap between your two marriages to him, those years cannot be aggregated.

  115. I am 66 and collecting my ss benefits starting at 66. I am wondering if I remarry can my new wife collect benifits off of my record? If I pass away does she collect off of my record?

  116. I was was with my husband for 16yrs 12 of those married. I divorced him in 2010. I re married in 2013.. iam disabled I cant work . Can I apply for ssi from my 1st husband? . Still married but separated…

    1. As long as you are married you cannot collect social security retirement benefits from Husband #1’s record. Once you are at least 62 you can collect benefits from Husband #2, if those exceed your own benefits or the amount you are getting from social security disability (if you are). And if you are divorced by then, you can collect based on Husband #1, or Husband #2, or your own, whichever is greater. The benefits you could get at age 62 will be reduced because you are collecting before full retirement of age 66+.

  117. I have a weird one. I’m in the middle of a divorce now, a amicable divorce. I’m 47 and receive SSDI of $1400 gross each month, he’s 56 and also gets a SSDI check for $900 a month. Would he be able to draw on my larger benefit $1400 per month once our divorce is final? I’ve stayed married to him for 15 years because I know he can’t live on $900 a month plus his health is really bad, heart failure, kidney failure, in a wheel chair due to Ankylosing Spondylitis so I took care of him for all those years but I’m no longer able to take care of him due to being disabled myself now and mentally I just can’t do it anymore, our marriage hasn’t been good for 10+ years, it’s been over for 10+ years but I stayed with him. I would feel better if he could draw off my amount while he’s still living. A disabled person can’t take care of another disabled person without it hurting them and taking it’s toll on the caregiver.

    1. That’s a very difficult place that you are in. I don’t know the answer to your question, but perhaps you can ask Social Security about the disability laws. I think each you you draw off your own record, whether married or divorced, but I’m not sure.

  118. My husband died in 2014, left me penniless, homeless and without anything. We were married in 1999, and were still married when he died. I have just been told that I may be entitled to claim something, could you please let me know..l am living with my daughter and her husband and two children, so it is very crowded..
    I am originally from England, and I do not have a SSN, he was the worker.
    I have a TIN number, am I entitled to anything at all?
    Thank you for reading…

    1. At age 60, you can collect reduced widow benefits from social security, or you can wait until age 66 and collect full benefits. They do not pay more than 6 months retroactive benefits, so get in touch with social security right away.

  119. I was married for 9 years and 11 months. I have been divorced for 5 years. Am I eligible for divorced spouse social security retirement benefits?

  120. My ex-husband and I were married for 25 years. I have remarried. Upon both of us reaching retirement age, am I eligible to receive any kind of benefits from him. He has been with someone else for the last 8 years, but they are not married. Does this mean that he could collect from me but I can’t from him? Thank you

    1. You can collect benefits based on your current spouse’s earnings history, but not your former spouse. He doesn’t have a current spouse, so if divorced spouse benefits would exceed what he can collect on his own earnings history, that is what he can do.

  121. I am disabled but not entitled to SSDI because I haven’t got enough points. I had not worked in 5 years due to taking care of my disabled Mother. My Mom died in 2007. I had a heart attack in May 2912 and was diagnosed as having CHF as well as severe Asthma. I applied for SSDI in June of 2012. I was turned down. My current age is 59. My husband is 72 years old and draws Social Security Benefits as well as a pension from his job. If he dies will I be able to draw any portion of his Social Security since I am not of retirement age?

  122. I was married and divorced twice to my deceased ex spouse for a Can you ad both marriages together for a total of 10 years?

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