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Can you get Social Security using an ex-spouse’s work history?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Divorce

After a Georgia divorce, you may have questions about whether you are going to have enough money to maintain your lifestyle during retirement. You may feel especially nervous about this if you sacrificed your own career to help your spouse further his or hers and, thus, may not qualify for Social Security retirement benefits on your own.

However, CNBC reports that about 30% of Americans do not realize that they may be able to get Social Security retirement benefits because of the work records of their former spouses.

How to qualify for spousal benefits from your ex

Whether you, your ex or anyone else qualifies for Social Security retirement benefits depends on how much time you or they spent in a role that involved paying taxes into Social Security. If your former spouse does qualify based on his or her earnings record, then you may also qualify using his or her record after a divorce. However, to do so, your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years.

How much you might receive in spousal benefits

Should you decide to use your ex’s earnings record, rather than your own, to obtain Social Security retirement benefits, you may have questions about how much you might get. The most you are going to receive in your checks each month is half the amount your one-time partner does upon reaching full retirement age.

If you decide to collect these benefits using the work record of your ex, it should not raise ire with your former spouse. Your doing so does not lower the amount your ex gets each month in Social Security retirement benefits.