Am I entitled to collect against my ex-spouse’s record if caring for a disabled child?

Published: June 24, 2021

Full question: Am I entitled to keep collecting against my ex spouses record if my qualification was due to 10 yr exception to 10 yr rule caring for disabled child?


For married couples, when one parent begins collecting Social Security retirement benefits, the other parent’s age 62 or older and minor and/or adult disabled child(ren) may be eligible to collect dependent benefits based on that parent’s record. A spouse younger than age 62 may qualify for child-in-care spousal benefits if caring for the child(ren). These benefits pay up to 50 percent of the worker’s full retirement benefit.

If divorced, you and the child(ren) of the retired worker may qualify to collect benefits based on your ex’s earnings record. These rules are similar to couple rules with the exception of the child-in-care guidelines.

The SSA will not provide you with divorced child-in-care ex-spouse benefits before you turn 62, even if you have your ex-spouse’s child in your care. Once you reach age 62, these benefits would simply be your ex-spousal benefits. Your child, if still a minor or disabled, would still be eligible for child’s benefits.

You should also be aware of survivor benefits for divorced spouses. These pay a surviving ex-spouse (age 60 and up) as much as 100 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit amount, if you claim them at your full retirement age. If you are caring for the deceased worker’s minor or disabled child, you may qualify at any age, although benefits are capped at 75 percent if you are under age 60.

Take care,

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