When it comes time to collect Social Security retirement benefits, you usually will collect on your own record. However, you also have the option of collecting on your spouse’s record if he or she made more money than you and will get a higher payout.
According to AARP, even if you and your spouse got a divorce, you may still be able to collect Social Security benefits on his or her record.
To collect on your ex-spouse’s record, you cannot have a new spouse. You also need to be at least 62 years old, and your ex-spouse must be at least 62 years old or currently collecting disability benefits.
Your divorce must be at least two years ago. You also must have been married for at least 10 years.
You can file for benefits as you would on your own record through the normal filing process. You will get the higher amount of benefits based on your record and your ex-spouse’s record.
Do note your spouse does not have to currently collect Social Security retirement benefits for you to collect them on his or her record. In addition, any benefits you get on his or her record will not affect what he or she receives when claiming retirement benefits.
You may wish to collect off your ex-spouse’s record if you stayed at home and did not work, worked on and off or worked only a part-time job during your marriage. Collecting off his or her record allows you to get a higher payment amount than you would using your record.