Gray divorce is on the rise across Oregon and the rest of the United States, and this means many divorcing individuals are increasingly concerned about having enough money to maintain a comfortable lifestyle after retirement. Yet, many people who divorce their partners later in life are not aware that they may be able to receive Social Security retirement benefits using the earnings records of their former spouses.
According to CNBC, one’s eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits hinges on several factors. So, too, does an ex-spouse’s ability to collect these benefits using the work record of a former husband or wife.
What determines eligibility
The process involved in determining if a working American is eligible for Social Security retirement benefits is complex. However, in brief, eligibility hinges upon how much time an employee spends working in a position that Social Security covers. An employee also has to reach the legal age of retirement before he or she may begin collecting these benefits.
Whether an ex-spouse may collect Social Security retirement benefits using the work history of a former partner depends on how long the marriage between the two lasted. Only former spouses whose marriage lasted at least 10 years may collect these benefits using their ex’s earnings records.
How much ex-spouses might collect
A former spouse who meets other eligibility requirements might collect up to half of the amount his or her ex-husband or ex-wife takes home each month. A former spouse’s decision to do so does not lower the amount the other spouse receives in payments.
Individuals who collect Social Security retirement benefits based on an ex-spouse’s record may be able to collect up to 100% of what their former partners received after the death of the ex-spouse.