Retirement Partners LLC Blog
Most widows are unaware that they qualify for Social Security survivor benefits off their deceased ex spouse.
I have found most people believe if their ex spouse remarried, only the new spouse could qualify for benefits. If you were married 10 years or more and later divorced, you can receive 100% of your ex’s Social Security. However, this is only if you are currently single. So even if you remarried but later divorced you still can qualify.
If you do draw Social Security off of your ex it will not diminish what your ex’s widow can draw off of him. So if John was married to two women each for a minimum of 10 years and he passed away, both ex spouses can get the same amount.
Social Security survivor benefits are the same for women and men, widows and widowers.
How much a widow or widower will get is more than most realize. Spousal benefits are 50% of the amount the spouse or ex spouse was eligible to draw at his or her full retirement age (FRA). Survivor benefits are much more. The surviving spouse, or ex spouse can get 100% of what her or his deceased spouse was receiving from Social Security. One thing to note here, is if John took out his Social Security benefits at 62 (earliest age) he would get about 30% less then if he waited until his FRA. Anyone claiming survivor benefits off John, would only be able to draw what he was drawing. So even if you have been divorced for 20 or 30 years and your ex spouse remarried you can still qualify.
The Social Security Administration will attempt to notify those who qualify for these benefits, but unfortunately many people ignore this letter. Seniors get so much unsolicited mail it can be hard to distinguish what's important and what isn’t.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Social Security or Medicare please give our office a call.
Retirement Partners LLC
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