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Divorced Spouse Social Security Benefits: FAQs

On Behalf of | May 5, 2022 | blog, family law |

Here are common questions that many people in New Jersey have about spousal support and Social Security benefits. We’ll start with the number one question that we hear.

If my ex died, am I still entitled to a portion of their Social Security benefits?

You are eligible for Social Security benefits from your ex-spouse based on criteria that have nothing to do with their passing.

My ex is reaching SS and retirement eligibility but says he has no intention of claiming the benefits. Am I still eligible?

Yes. The law does require the marriage’s dissolution have happened at least two years prior to the passing.

Are there any gender-specific Social Security policies?

No, the Social Security Administration has no rules or policies that favor either sex. Both ex-spouses are equally entitled to spousal support. They are:

  • The marriage has to have lasted at least a decade.
  • You must be 60 years or older, or, if disabled, 50 years.
  • The ex has to have been eligible for Social Security, to begin with.
  • You cannot collect larger Social Security payments than those on your work record.

How can I apply for Social Security spousal support?

Go to Social Security’s website. Have your documents ready to confirm you are eligible for ex-spouse benefits.

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Proof of citizenship
  • W-2s or tax forms proving self-employment for the last year
  • Marriage license
  • Final divorce decree

Is there anything else I should know?

Besides the distribution of Social Security benefits, you may have a right to retirement benefits, pensions and other assets. But there will be requirements and the ones we cover here may not apply to everything.