Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
There are specific requirements to collect spousal benefits and you have met some them. The ones not yet mentioned are:
- You must be old enough to collect benefits (at least 62)
- He must be collecting his own benefits
If you meet those criteria you can collect based on his account. It will not reduce his benefits but you should be aware that your benefit will the greater of one based on your own earnings record or 1/2 his benefit. You do not get to receive both.
Then you should contact the Social Security Administration to make an appointment to get your benefits corrected. You can get the telephone number of a local office at www.ssa.gov.
Bring photo ID, your Social Security card, his Social Security number, and proof of marriage/divorce with you to the appointment.
The ultimate benefit you will receive is the larger of:
Your present benefit or
1/2 your former spouse's present benefit