Don’t Need To Wait For Ex To Claim

To get your ex’s Social Security, they need to be eligible for benefits. That means they must be at least 62 with a minimum of 40 work credits, which is the equivalent of 10 years of full-time work. But it doesn’t matter whether he or she has actually claimed yet. As long as you’re at least 62, you can start drawing benefits.

Choosing Benefits

it is not possible to choose between your benefit and your ex’s benefits. When you apply for Social Security, you’ll get whichever is higher: your benefit or theirs. If their earnings history qualifies you for more benefits, Social Security will give you whatever you’re eligible for based on your own earnings, then use their record to give you the difference.


You will get an 8% delayed retirement credit for every year you hold off on delaying benefits past your full retirement age until you’re 70 when taking Social Security based on your own record. Not the case when you’re taking benefits based on a current or ex-spouse’s record. Your benefits max out at your full retirement age.

Switching Benefits Later

It is possible to file what’s called a restricted application for Social Security to claim your ex-spouse’s benefits and then switch over to your own higher benefit after you reach full retirement age but only if you were born on or before Jan. 2, 1954.