How to Claim Social Security Benefits From an Ex

Divorce can certainly leave you handicapped in more than one way. Apart from emotional distress, it can affect your lifestyle if you had relied on your ex-spouse’s income for meeting your day-to-day expenses. While the effects of a divorce may be everlasting, one can certainly count on the old-age benefits he or she will get through the ex-spouse’s Social Security policy. However, in order to exercise those benefits, one needs to meet certain requirements. Having done that, the application procedure is relatively straightforward, where you will be guaranteed a good enough chunk.


  • 1


    Before considering the option to call the Social Security Administration office, you need to determine the eligibility criteria.

    - Your previous relationship i.e. your marital status must last for at least 10 years.

    - Your own age must be at least 62 years, or more. However, if you are looking after you ex-spouse’s child, then his may not be necessary. Nonetheless, the age will become a factor as you aim to receive maximum benefits.

    - You must not be qualified for another social security benefit of a similar or higher amount. If that is the case, then you will receive that benefit first.

  • 2


    Gather all the relevant details which are required to start the application procedure. This will include all information about yourself and your ex-spouse, such as name, address, Social Security No, marriage proof – date, certificate – and the divorce papers. Don’t panic, if some of the information is missing related to your ex-spouse, as the Social Security people may offer you help.

  • 3


    In order to claim benefits, you choose any of the three routes – internet, phone or mail. If you choose to apply online, then visit the Social Security website, and search for the option which will read 'Apply for Benefits Online'. You can further carry the application procedure through the phone by calling 800-772-1213. In case you wish to carry the application in person, then set an appointment with the local Social Security Office. Make sure you have with you all related documents when you meet the SSA representative.

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