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

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Divorce |

When your New Jersey marriage ends and you are nearing the age of retirement, you may wonder whether you are going to have enough money available to you during retirement to maintain the standard of living you enjoy now. Many people who divorce late in life share similar concerns. However, if you meet certain criteria, you may have the option of collecting Social Security retirement benefits using the work record of your ex-husband or ex-wife.

Per CNBC, whether you and your former spouse are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits at all depends on certain variables, including how much time each of you put in at a job covered by Social Security.

Collecting benefits using an ex-spouse’s record

For you to be eligible to collect these benefits based on your former spouse’s record, as opposed to your own, several things must be true. Your ex-spouse has to have worked long enough in a Social Security-covered role to be eligible for benefits. Also, your marriage to this individual had to have lasted at least 10 years. If you meet these criteria, you may be able to collect up to half of the amount your former spouse does in retirement benefits each month.

Collecting benefits after an ex-spouse’s death

If your former spouse dies while you are collecting benefits using his or her work history, you may start receiving death benefits, rather than retirement benefits. In this scenario, you may collect as much as 100% of what your former spouse was collecting each month.

Before collecting Social Security retirement benefits using your ex’s record, consider finding out how much you would collect using your own. Then, you may compare the two and collect whichever amount is higher.