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Contributor

Surviving Divorced Spouse benefit

Hello.  I am 65.  My ex husband passed away in August of last year.  We were married for 20 years, we have been divorced for 25 years.  Neither he or I got remarried.  

 

His social security benefit is greater than mine.  I have been collecting for 2 years, I don't know if that matters.

 

I am reading about the surviving divorced spouse benefit.  Am I entitled to his full benefit amount for the rest of my life since it is more than mine, and I am of retirement age?  

 

Also if this is true, I wonder if they will backdate payments from  his date of death. 

 

I appreciate help with this.  I am getting confused reading about the different spouse benefits.  I keep trying to call the social security office but never get through.

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Newbie

Yes you are entitled to his full benefits. The rule is you have to be married 10 years, so you qualify. You will have to make an appointment to go to the SS office. You must bring your marriage certificate and your divorce decree. I do believe that all the criteria are on line, but, yes you should apply.
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Periodic Contributor

Surviving divorce: I know quite a few people who added it up one way and down the other for their current and short-term future circumstances, as to whether they felt they could live OK after divorced. Only to have unplanned events such as a layoff and not be able to obtain another well-paying job, then lose almost everything they have. Now, I understand that getting divorced can have very good reasons, but it is important to realize that your current situation you are 'banking on,' can change dramatically and unexpectedly. 

Newbie

Due to CODIV-19, off from work  it's going to be a month, hopefully no longer than that.

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Same here
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Newbie

I had to work to pay bills, for while was unable to find a job due to my age.

Thanks to God gave me job

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Periodic Contributor

I was married for 58 years to one man and he passed away at the age of 80 of Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  I remarried at the age of 79, Big Mistake.

I am surviving Divorce at the age of 81.  We were only married 2 and 1/2 years when I realized that this man  was going to bankrupt me.  I have plenty to live on. I have my late Husbands SS and I have PERA. I own my own home. I have lived here for 61 years,  I had a Money Market account  from an Inheritance. I have always lived furgally. I knew when I retired at the age of 79 that I would need to cut out all frills. No magazine Subs. Never took any vacations. Just hunkered down. I bought nothing that I didn't have to. I belonged to the Red Hats, I walk a lot and took care of myself continutally. I don't look my age as I am slim and trim and I always watched what I ate. This Person that was so totally Good Looking, exercised a ton. Was a Body Builder,  bought lots of guns and ammo.  When I met him I told him that he could live here at my house which was paid for. I had a two vehicles. I have a 4 wheeler. I have a really nice place. I said that if we could put our finances together we could probably make it.  He had been married twice and I was assuming that I was the third?  Right off the bat he decided that everything needed to be in my name only. Every Purchase.  To make a long story short. He paid nothing out of his SS and I was paying for everything.  We argued over that. We went to a Marriage Counselor and  he didn't like that when she said he was not good with his finances. So then we went to our Pastor and he was still not willing to change his way of life. Since I owned my home and everything in it. I ask him to leave if he wasn't willing to pay half of the Utilities, for Gas in the vehicles, LP Gas . Etc.  He said you have more money then I do you pay for everything. I tried to have him evicted. That didn't work. He finally  shoved me around  once too often and kept screaming at me.  So I left my home and went to my Grand Son's and they called my Lawyer and  he was forced to leave this house  by a Deptuy Sheriff.  He lives like 112 miles from here, but refused to sign the Divorce papers as he wants $2000.  This amount would pay for his Lawyer and then he would have more.  I refused to give him any more. The Truth is he owes me $10,000 .  I will never get it, so I rented out a spare room for $650 a month and this person has full  access to the rest of the house and has his own vehicle.  Things are going well.  I finally got a hold of another Divorce Lawyer and it was suggested that I give him  $750.00 or nothing.  If he doesn't accept it, then we will go before a Judge and the Judge can decide if  this man owes me more money and if he needs to sign the Divorce paper work and gets nothing, also how he is going to explain how he shoved me around and had to be ejected from this home. . So I do have a plan now.  My Lawyer is a Friend and she just isn't getting any place with his Lawyer.  At any rate. I have gotten my Bank Accounts back to the correct name. I went and got my DL  name changed.  I sent in stuff to get my Supplemental Insurance name changed. I am getting there. So I spoke with a different Lawyer over the phone and I do have a plan to rid myself of this Mooch, Liar and Thief.   I hope that maybe my story will help an older person. I know I am old as well.  I was too trusting. I live in Rural Colorado and I thought when someone gave their word they would be ok. I also thought that  when he said he was a Christian that he really was one.  Obviously I was taken advantage of.  Won't happen again.    Audrey Jane Spaulding (Budzysnki)

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Periodic Contributor

I'm very sorry this happened to you. If I were you, I'd pay the $2K and good bye forever. 

 

It isn't that hard to make a mistake when remarrying when older, a couple ideas. Even if a person seems hunky-dory, do some investigating. Hire a private investigator with good credentials. Find any prior divorces and look up the court documents, find out any bankrupcies, etc. Find out the credit score. Look up criminal records. Anyone who would volunteer to move in and not pay anything is a red flag. What do your relatives and friends say, ask for honest opinions, and also, if appropriate, let them know the details. Find an attorney who specializes in this area and have a prenup. The other person must have a different attorney. A good attorney will also make a strong suggestion to you that perhaps this is not a good person to marry if they are too resistant to generally accepted terms. (PS I had this happen to me, and saved me from a big mistake.) I could go on, but in your older years, you can't work an extra job to make up for something you regret. 

Periodic Contributor

i GOT NOTHING BUT PEACE OF MIND.  WHATEVER I HAD, I can get again after 23 years.  I hate him.

 

 

Ms. Murphy

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Periodic Contributor

It is a message worth hearing. I'm glad you shared it. 

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Honored Social Butterfly

@MarieR258994

 

Sounds like you would be eligible for at least some of his benefit as a divorced surviving spouse.

It could be reduced because you started your SS benefits early - and you are not yet Full Retirement Age either. 

 

Here are the rules and a screening tool for you to assess this type of benefit for you.

 

Benefits.gov - The Social Security Surviving Divorced Spouse Benefits

check out the Benefit Eligibility Tool

 

You can have your determination and amount done by SSA and you will be given the higher of the benefits.  Your Medicare benefit will also be assigned based on how you get your SS benefit and the appopriate prefix assigned to the number.  That is no big deal - there is no health benefit change.

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

There is an updated article on this topic as well at https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/ex-spouse-survivor-benefit/.  Has anyone been successful with attaining this?

AARPTeri
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Silver Conversationalist

@MarieR258994   Do you already have a Social Security Account set up.  https://www.ssa.gov/

 

Is the Social Security site where you are getting your information from? If so and you know you will get more money taking his SS payment why not go ahead and request the change?

 

Make sure you look at this too. Look at bottom of article for this, If your spouse or ex-spouse is deceased.

https://faq.ssa.gov/en-US/Topic/article/KA-02011

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