Can my ex-wife claim at 62 then suspend so I can collect an ex-spousal benefit based on her earnings record?

Published: March 31, 2021

Full question: I am divorced, was married for over 10 years and did not remarry. Can my ex-wife at 62 claim and suspend so I can collect 50% of her benefit? And does that effect her benefit?


The ability to file (claim) and suspend Social Security retirement benefits was phased out for couples and divorced individuals in 2016, but you may still be able to collect ex-spousal benefits if you meet the criteria.

If you were married for at least 10 years, are currently single and age 62 or older, and your ex-spouse is collecting retirement benefits, you are eligible to collect ex-spousal benefits based on her earnings record.

If you are also entitled to your own Social Security retirement benefit, you will only collect whichever benefit is higher at the time you file.

If you have been divorced for 2 years or more, you are “independently entitled,” meaning your ex-spouse does not need to be collecting her Social Security retirement benefits for you to collect ex-spousal benefits.

If you collect ex-spousal benefits, these do not affect your ex-wife’s retirement benefits.

If you need further assistance, a Registered Social Security Analyst can give you personalized guidance.

Take care,

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