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Advocating For You

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

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | Divorce

When you retire, your ability to collect Social Security retirement benefits using your own earnings record depends on how much time you spent working in a position covered by Social Security. If you are currently working your way through a Texas divorce, you may question whether you are going to have enough of an earnings record to qualify for these benefits yourself and live comfortably once you retire.

According to CNBC, you may have another option available to you, depending on the specifics of your situation. If you do not qualify for these benefits, or do qualify for them, but would only receive a small monthly amount, you may be able to collect them using the work history of your former husband or wife.

Qualifying for benefits using your ex’s work history

Your situation has to meet several criteria for you to collect Social Security retirement benefits using the earnings record of an ex-spouse. First, your ex must have enough of a work history in a role covered by Social Security to be eligible for benefits himself or herself. Second, your marriage to the covered individual must have lasted 10 years or more.

Collecting benefits using your ex’s work history

If you are eligible to get Social Security retirement benefits using your ex’s work history, you may collect up to half of how much your former husband or wife gets in benefits each month. If you do so, your collection of benefits under his or her work record has no impact on how much your ex-husband or ex-wife is going to receive.

It may benefit you to compute how much you might receive in Social Security benefits using your own work record, if sufficient enough, before deciding to collect them using your ex’s earnings history.