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Springfield Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Divorce > Social Security for Divorcees

Social Security for Divorcees


As a senior who’s contemplating divorce, you may be concerned about how you’ll make ends meet when you’re on your own. Grey divorce is becoming more common these days, so there are plenty of people in the same boat.  One income source you may not have considered is what you might get from the Social Security Administration. Many people don’t realize that they may be able to get a percentage of their spouse’s Social Security benefits. There are, in fact, nearly 700,000 Americans currently enjoying these benefits, and they are available regardless of your gender.

Available Benefits 

Nearly half of people who are close to retirement age, in fact, do not know that if they’re divorced, they may be able to collect benefits from Social Security based on their former spouse’s earnings. That’s right! For seniors aged 62+, eligibility to get over 30 percent of the benefit calculated from an ex’s lifetime earnings is relatively simple. That percentage they can glean rises monthly until it hits 50 percent if they start collecting at full retirement age.


Here are some interesting and beneficial facts worth knowing:

  1. Anyone who was married for 10+ years may qualify for this benefit.
  2. Seniors are eligible for this divorced-spouse benefit if it exceeds the benefit based on their own record of personal earnings.
  3. Recipients may not be remarried if they wish to collect the benefit.
  4. Recipients may receive the highest of the two amounts (their former spouse’s percentage or their own earnings amount).
  5. Any lesser earning spouse may be eligible for the benefit, including spouses in LGBT marriages.
  6. Former spouses whose earnings are considered will not be impacted in any way if an ex receives benefits based on their earnings; in fact they may never even know it is happening.
  7. Collection is available if the former spouse is of eligible age, even if they, themselves, are not yet collecting, as long as the divorce occurred at least two ago.
  8. The average retirement benefit to divorced spouses is over $900 monthly.
  9. If a former spouse qualifies for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Social Security retirement benefits, those may be available as well.
  10. A divorcee whose spouse receives disability benefits averages over $400 monthly.
  11. A divorcee may receive an average of over $1,600 per month in Social Security survivor benefits (available at age 60).
  12. A divorcee may receive an average of nearly $900 in survival disability benefits (available at age 50).
  13. Divorced spouses are entitled to support for disabled children of all ages averaging over $1,100 per month in survival benefits.

Earning Limits 

For people who are not yet retirement age, there is an earning cap linked to Social Security benefits. Earners making just over $21,000, will see benefits as a divorced spouse reduced by $1 for every $2 earned over that amount, and $1 for every $3 earned over roughly $56,500.

Working Out the Details 

Does this seem too  complicated to pursue?  For the experienced Springfield divorce attorneys at Courtney & Mills dealing with issues related to gray divorce is an everyday occurrence.  We can help with this, and all your divorce needs.  To discuss your circumstances, contact our Springfield office today for a confidential consultation.

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