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Can you get Social Security using an ex-spouse’s work record?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2022 | Divorce

When you and your Michigan husband or wife part ways later on in your lives, you may have concerns about being able to live comfortably during retirement without your ex’s help. You may feel especially fearful about having enough to get by during retirement if you are not eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, or if you are only eligible to receive a small amount in these benefits each month.

According to CNBC, you may not realize that, if your marriage was a lengthy one and your situation meets certain other criteria, you may be able to get Social Security retirement benefits using the work record of your former husband or wife.

Determining eligibility

Several things have to be true for you to be eligible to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your former spouse’s earnings history. To get this spousal benefit, your marriage to your ex had to have lasted at least 10 years. Furthermore, your ex had to have enough of a work history in a role covered by Social Security to collect these benefits at all.

Determining how much you might collect

You may be able to get up to half the amount your spouse takes home each month in Social Security retirement benefits, should you choose to receive them using his or her earnings history. Yet, your decision to do so does not lessen the amount your ex receives.

A growing number of Americans are divorcing between the ages of 55 and 64. Yet, about 30% do not realize they may be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits based on their former partner’s work history.

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