I am 63 and caring for my adult disabled child. Can I collect ex-spousal benefits now without penalty?

Published: March 13, 2023

Full question: I am 63 caring for my adult disabled child full time. My ex spouse, his father, is 62 (we were married 19 years). Am I able to collect on his work record right now without early penalty (he is still working, not retired) ? Would that be at the 50% divorced spouse rate?

Hi there,

Yes, we do not know if you are eligible for your own retirement benefits, but it sounds like you are entitled to an ex-spousal benefits based on your ex’s work record.

Your disabled adult child would also be eligible to collect a child benefit when your ex begins collecting his retirement benefits.

If you collect ex-spousal benefits at age 63 they will be reduced from the maximum amount of 50 percent (of his full retirement benefit) that you would receive at your full retirement age of 67.

The family maximum benefit may apply to your and your child’s benefit amounts.

This is a complex situation. You could benefit from an analysis by our team to see the exact amount you and your child could receive and the best times for you to apply. Please email our team at help@rssa.com for more information.

Take care,

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