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Ex Spouse Benefits

Hello, I hope I can ask this question and make sense.  My ex husband is 10 yrs younger than I am.  I will be able to start getting my SS benefits at the beginning of 2022 after I am 65 (yes one year early).  Since my ex will not be 62 yet I cannot claim his.  When my ex DOES turn 62 will I be able to claim half of his amount at that time?   OR once u take it that's it and there is no changing?  I hope this makes sense. If not please let me explain more. Thanks!!!  

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@BethB74024 

 

@fffred 

 

I sure thought this was changed by the Balanced Budget Act of 2015 - but after further research, it seems I was wrong and you are right - I will edit my initial post.

 

Remember, Beth, that when your Ex-spouse reaches age 62 and you are checking on the amount of your EX-Spousal benefit - the 50% of his benefit will be reduced by your "early" retirement % since you are filing (1) year early at 65.

 

You might want to keep a check on this - sometimes changes get made to the way benefits are paid, i.e. Balanced Budget Act of 2015 - changed some things that did affect beneficiaries and spousal benefits.   Not saying that it will get changed but personally, this doesn't make sense to me seeing what they did back in 2015.

 

Good Luck and Happy Retirement.

Honored Social Butterfly


@BethB74024 wrote:

Hello, I hope I can ask this question and make sense.  My ex husband is 10 yrs younger than I am.  I will be able to start getting my SS benefits at the beginning of 2022 after I am 65 (yes one year early).  Since my ex will not be 62 yet I cannot claim his.  When my ex DOES turn 62 will I be able to claim half of his amount at that time?   OR once u take it that's it and there is no changing?  I hope this makes sense. If not please let me explain more. Thanks!!!  


Let me clear up one thing that you have wrong 1st -

BEFORE you could claim spousal benefits (in this case, ex-spousal benefits) he doesn't just have to be retirement age (early or FRA or later) - He has to be actually drawing benefits for the spousal benefit to be in play.     Edited on 10/02/2020 to remove this info - not correct for a DIVORCED EX-SPOUSE - see comments from others as well as below

SS: Benefits for Your Family - Divorced Spouse 

 

Yes, you can claim your own benefit now (reduced for that one year early) and then after he files for benefits sometimes down the road you can check what your (eligible) ex-spousal benefit might be at that time and switch if it larger than your own.  If it is larger, SSA will adjust your benefit to reflect the additional amount.

 

Remember there are some other requirements to be eligible for an ex-spouse spousal benefit .

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From my research I have found that my ex spouse (yes we were married 10 yrs. and yes I am single and will remain that way) just needs to be 62 yo and ELIGIBLE to collect, not have to be collecting yet.  

 

You can collect a spousal benefit as long as you are 62, and as long as your spouse is 62 – even if your ex has not filed for their own benefits yet.

 

See this page:  https://www.thebalance.com/collect-spousal-benefit-when-ex-is-age-62-2388950#:~:text=You%20can%20col....

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@BethB74024 
@GailL1 

 

 


@GailL1 wrote:

@BethB74024 wrote:

Hello, I hope I can ask this question and make sense.  My ex husband is 10 yrs younger than I am.  I will be able to start getting my SS benefits at the beginning of 2022 after I am 65 (yes one year early).  Since my ex will not be 62 yet I cannot claim his.  When my ex DOES turn 62 will I be able to claim half of his amount at that time?   OR once u take it that's it and there is no changing?  I hope this makes sense. If not please let me explain more. Thanks!!!  


Let me clear up one thing that you have wrong 1st -

BEFORE you could claim spousal benefits (in this case, ex-spousal benefits) he doesn't just have to be retirement age (early or FRA or later) - He has to be actually drawing benefits for the spousal benefit to be in play.


Gail, the part you bolded, I am not certain that is correct; which surprises me as you are so knowledgeable about the SS rules (editing to add that this is a major compliment!). I guess I'm uncertain because I've seen opposing views but never paid much attention as it doesn't apply to me. Let me know if you see a mistake in my understanding below.

 

I think the SS site gives some clarity on this. From https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/applying7.html, scroll down to "How Much Will Your Divorced Spouse Receive". This says "If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years." It seems that if they've been divorced for at least 2 years that an ex-spouse can collect SS on the primary insured even if the primary insured is not collecting benefits (of course, all other requirements have to be met as well, as you say).

That paragraph goes on to say "If your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount." Thus it sounds as though the ex-spouse must file for their own benefit first. But maybe this is a function of the "new" deemed requirement.

The rules for benefits for spouse and ex-spouse are different and that can be a source of confusion.

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@fffred wrote:

@BethB74024 
@GailL1 

 

 


@GailL1 wrote:

@BethB74024 wrote:

Hello, I hope I can ask this question and make sense.  My ex husband is 10 yrs younger than I am.  I will be able to start getting my SS benefits at the beginning of 2022 after I am 65 (yes one year early).  Since my ex will not be 62 yet I cannot claim his.  When my ex DOES turn 62 will I be able to claim half of his amount at that time?   OR once u take it that's it and there is no changing?  I hope this makes sense. If not please let me explain more. Thanks!!!  


Let me clear up one thing that you have wrong 1st -

BEFORE you could claim spousal benefits (in this case, ex-spousal benefits) he doesn't just have to be retirement age (early or FRA or later) - He has to be actually drawing benefits for the spousal benefit to be in play.


Gail, the part you bolded, I am not certain that is correct; which surprises me as you are so knowledgeable about the SS rules (editing to add that this is a major compliment!). I guess I'm uncertain because I've seen opposing views but never paid much attention as it doesn't apply to me. Let me know if you see a mistake in my understanding below.

 

I think the SS site gives some clarity on this. From https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/applying7.html, scroll down to "How Much Will Your Divorced Spouse Receive". This says "If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years." It seems that if they've been divorced for at least 2 years that an ex-spouse can collect SS on the primary insured even if the primary insured is not collecting benefits (of course, all other requirements have to be met as well, as you say).

That paragraph goes on to say "If your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount." Thus it sounds as though the ex-spouse must file for their own benefit first. But maybe this is a function of the "new" deemed requirement.

The rules for benefits for spouse and ex-spouse are different and that can be a source of confusion.


Hey, @fffred , I am not perfect - Tried to correct my error.

 

You wrote:

The rules for benefits for spouse and ex-spouse are different and that can be a source of confusion.

 

Not just confusing - IT MAKES NOT SENSE EITHER !

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