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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13267
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I am a 64 year old woman. I was on SSI until I was 62 and

Customer Question

I am a 64 year old woman. I was on SSI until I was 62 and was told that I had to start collecting SS. I was married for over 20 years and have been divorced for 18 years ( never remarried). Can I collect on my ex spouse?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 7 months ago.

Hi, my name is***** and I am here to assist you. I am a social security attorney in my private practice – that is ALL I do. Please let me know that my post here is coming through for you by typing a quick reply.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 7 months ago.

Yes, typically, when you filed at 62, the SSA should have asked you if you had any ex spouses, and then determined if spousal benefit was available - they then require you take that spousal supplement on top of your own reduced amount. However, if your ex was not 62+, or you forgot to mention him, that may not have happened. So, you can inquire of the SSA if spousal amount would be bigger than your own, and if so, decide to switch to it. That is not typical if you were a worker, since spousal is a between 35-50% of his benefit amount, but it possible.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, you may want to "keep track" of him a bit because if he dies, you will be eligible for a divorced surviving widow benefit - which can be up to 100% of his benefit amount. If that amount is greater than your own, you will want to consider switching at that time even if live ex spousal benefit does not work out for you.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 7 months ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
They did not tell me that I was "required " to apply for spousal benefits and at the time, he had not turned 62 yet. Can I still apply for his benefit even though it is almost 2 years later since I have started collecting SS?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 7 months ago.

If he had not turned 62 yet, that would mean you were not yet eligible on his record, so the application for spousal that is otherwise automatic (we don't have a choice on it), wouldn't have been. So this means that it is possible it IS bigger than your own, since it hasn't been checked and rejected back when you were 62. And yes, you can apply now since you are now eligible if he is over 62. I'll cross my fingers for you that it is bigger and you can switch to it.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 7 months ago.

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