Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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SSA advises the following:
If you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record and divorced spouse’s benefits, we will pay the retirement benefit first. If the benefit on your ex-spouse’s record is higher, you will get an additional amount on your ex-spouse’s record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.
When you apply they will look at all possible payments to you. You cannot just request the spousal benefit unfortunately.
Hi, I am checking back to see if you needed me to clarify.