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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 35309
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I am 62 years of age. I make only 670.00 a month at my job.

Customer Question

I am 62 years of age. I make only 670.00 a month at my job. When I was married my husband at that time was making at least 80,000. per year for the last fifteens years of our marriage. We divorced in 2004. I applied for social security this year. I received two checks with the amount of 458.00 dollars. Which I have decided not to take this year. I am going to try to go for the full amount at 66 years of age. The question that I have is that when I went to apply they told me that my ex husband doesn't have that much paid in and that I would not get very much more than my amount. This doesn't sound correct since he made over 80,000. from 1991 to 2004. He at this time is doing a contract job for a company in New Jersey. He tells me that he only works for 6 months out of the year. Well he also said he pays lots of taxes so see this just doesn't add up to me. Linda Paviol
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 10 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

You need to understand how a spouse benefit works and how it is determined. First, the greatest benefit a spouse can receive is 50% of their worker spouse's benefit. But at age 62 you would only get a maximum of 35% because you would be taking an early spouse benefit (before you reach 66).

Additionally, a retirement benefit is based on 35 years of earning history and 13 years of a good salary would not translate to a high benefit for your ex. I suspect what you were told by social security is correct and that you will have little to gain by taking a spouse benefit----at least before age 66.

At age 66 you may file a restricted benefit though, and take 50% of his benefit while allow your own benefit to increase by an additional 8% per year up to your age of 70---and that can significantly increase your own retirement benefit.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

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