Can I switch from an ex-spousal benefit to my own benefit at 70?

Published: July 12, 2023

Full question: Good morning. I am divorced, 66 years old with two disabled adult children that have lived with me all their lives. One has Autism, the other was injured at age 22 and is a parapalygic. Can I collect 1/2 of my ex-spouse’s Social Security Retirement while I continue working and change over to my own Social Security retirement when I retire at 70? If so, can you help me file for this?

Hi there,

Thank you for your question about ex-spousal benefits.

If you were married for more than 10 years, you may be entitled to ex-spousal benefits.

Unfortunately, you are not able to claim an ex-spousal benefit and later to switch to your own.

When you apply and indicate details about an ex-spouse, the SSA will give you the higher of the two benefits, your own retirement or the ex-spousal. Also, if you are not yet Full Retirement Age, still working, and collecting any Social Security benefits you will be subject to the earnings test.

For personalized assistance finding the best claiming strategy, an RSSA can definitely help you! Schedule a call here.

All the best,

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