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Spousal Rights to Social Security Benefits

    To qualify for divorced spouse benefits, the couple must
have been married at least ten (10) years. Further, the divorced spouse must
not remarry and be at least sixty-two (62) years old. The divorced spouse is
eligible to receive half of that worker’s primary insurance amount. The primary
insurance amount is the monthly benefit amount to which a worker is entitled. Like
regular social security benefits, there are penalties if the divorced spouse
begins to draw on the benefits before reaching their full retirement age.

the divorced spouse is eligible to receive the benefits from the worker even if
that worker has deferred receipt of their benefits as long as the divorce was
final for at least (2) years or the divorced spouse has reached full retirement
age. Additionally, the receipt of these benefits does not affect the family
maximum benefit for any other derivative benefits which the worker’s family is
eligible, such as spousal or children’s benefits.

A surviving
divorced spouse may also be eligible for a mother or father’s benefit if they
have custody of a worker’s child that is under sixteen (16) years of age or
disabled. These benefits will be approximately 75% of the worker’s primary
insurance amount.

If a
divorced spouse has had multiple marriages that have lasted ten (10) years or
more, the divorced spouse will be able to collect whichever worker’s benefit that
will be the largest income to the divorced spouse. Marriages that occur after
the divorced spouse reaches the age of sixty (60) do not qualify for a divorced
spousal benefit.

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