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Social Security question
Old 07-19-2007, 06:57 PM   #1
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Social Security question

My mom divorced from Dad after 17 years of marriage. She remarried for 3 years but divorced again. Now she has reached SS age but was told by a representative here at the local SS office that she cannot collect on her former (first) husbands benefits until after his death. Her benefits are very low as she was a stay at home mom for 20 years. Has anyone here had experience with this particular type of event??

Thanks,
2fer

From SSA.gov

If you are divorced after at least 10 years of marriage, you can collect retirement benefits on your former spouse's Social Security record if you are at least age 62 and if your former spouse is entitled to or receiving benefits. If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment).
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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Is there more information here that is relevant ?

It is my understanding that she could collect on the former husbands record. She could get half of his benefit now and then the full benefit payment of the former spouse when the former spouse dies.

If she worked at all and paid some SS taxes, It may be that her own personal work record allows her to collect more now (when the former spouse is alive) on her own record than half of her former spouses SS payment.

Has the former spouse begun to collect SS payments? It is my understanding that your mother may not be eligible to collect (on his record) until the former spouse starts collecting payments.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:27 AM   #3
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She did work but never earned a large wage. My father is collecting benefits now. I will have to check on the difference between half of his benefit and her wholly earned benefit, that may be what the person here at the local office was going by when she answered her inquiry.
Thanks,
2fer
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by two4theroad View Post
She did work but never earned a large wage. My father is collecting benefits now. I will have to check on the difference between half of his benefit and her wholly earned benefit, that may be what the person here at the local office was going by when she answered her inquiry.
Thanks,
2fer
The ssa website has tons of FAQ's, including Spouse's Benefits.

- Alec
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Answer to SS question
Old 07-20-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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Answer to SS question

Thanks all, went up to SS today and dad's benefit is not quite double hers so she is better off with her benefit.
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:19 PM   #6
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This thread illustrates an often overlooked point about SS, even by the clever members of this board.

Your spouse can't take it with him/her if he/she decides you aren't his/her Cutie Pie after all!

401Ks, corporate DB palns, military, or school teacher retirement annuities- all subject to cleavage, and I do mean that. My brother is a retired teacher, lives high on the hog. He has a buddy, same age, same teaching history, but twice divorced. He scrounges for part time work. First divorce- there went half his pension, second divorce, Oh-Oh, halved again. Think what will happen to this poor idiot if he marries again!

So married people, consider this- this is one you can keep! Go for the max in SS. Although you may not trust your government, when compared to trusting your spouse it might be best to stick with Uncle.

ha
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:30 PM   #7
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school teacher...cleavage

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