Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Posts tagged "social security"

Social Security Benefits

Social Security retirement benefits are payable based on an individual's prior earning's history. A party in divorce may be entitled to collect social security benefits based on the earnings history of their spouse instead of their own. For this to be an option, your spouse must already be at least 62 years old and receiving their social security benefits. Additionally, you must have been married to your spouse for at least ten years and be at least 62 years old. There is an exception to the age requirement if your spouse is deceased in which case you can start collecting at 60 years old or 50 years old if you are disabled. You cannot be remarried at the time you are electing to receive a spouse or ex-spouse's benefits however, remarriage is permissible if it occurs after age 60 or age 50 if disabled.

Social Security Benefits when Divorced

When you get divorced in PA, social security is not considered as an asset in divorce. It may be considered as income for purposes of alimony but not as an asset.  If you were a spouse who did not work and did not contribute to Social Security or if you worked part-time and your benefit is not very much, you should inquire as to whether you are eligible for spousal benefits.  If your ex-spouse worked and contributed to Social Security, you may be eligible for Social Security.  In order to be eligible, you must be unmarried at the time you apply for benefits. Even if you are divorced in between marriages from someone else, you may still be eligible to collect on the first spouse if you meet the requirements.  You must be at least 62 years.  You must have been married to the spouse for at least ten years to collect.  If your spouse is not yet collecting, you can still collect as long as you have been divorced for at least two years.  If you wait until full retirement, you will receive half of what your ex-spouse's full retirement benefit is.  Your collection of the half of their benefit does not reduce their full benefit.  They will still be eligible for their full retirement benefit.  Social security no longer sends statements out in the mail of your earning history but they are easily accessible online at www.ssa.gov and you should set up an account for yourself to view online.  To learn more about your rights if you are divorced visit: 

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