Q: My ex-husband always earned much more than I did and I anticipated receiving Social Security through his record when he retired.
His retirement plans changed after our divorce and now he expects to continue working for several more years, or at least until he is much older than 62.
Can I receive Social Security as a divorced spouse from his Social Security record before he retires?
A: Yes, this is possible assuming all requirements are met. General requirements to receive Social Security benefits as a divorced spouse are here and include that:
- the marriage lasted 10 years or longer
- you are unmarried
- you are age 62 or older and
- you are not eligible for a higher Social Security through your own work than you would through the record of your ex-spouse.
When receiving benefits through an ex-spouses record, that person is usually receiving benefits too but an exception exists which could let you receive benefits before your former husband starts Social Security.
If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you potentially could receive benefits through his record if you have been divorced for at least two years. To qualify for benefits means that your ex-spouse has enough work and has reached age 62.
You would be known as an “independently entitled divorced spouse” for SSA benefit purposes if you receive benefits this way.