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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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My husband and I have been married almost 16 years and I was

Customer Question

My husband and I have been married almost 16 years and I was told that I am eligible after 10 years of marriage to collect part of my husbands Social Security benefits. If that is the case, how do I apply for these benefits?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. You are presently married to your husband, correct?

2. Are you already collecting social security?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we are currently married , but separated. I am currently collecting social security on m own account.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am waiting for your response to my question--yes or no. I can collect or cannot collect a portions of his social security. If I can, how do I apply for it?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.


Thanks for the clarification.

Whoever told you about being eligible to collect a benefit based on being married 10 years was probably getting ahead of themselves a bit---because the 10 year rule applies to people who have been divorced after being married at least 10 years.

As a spouse, you are eligible to make a spouse claim after only 12 months of marriage, and so long as you make the benefit claim before your divorce is final, and so long as your husband is already collecting his own benefit, then you are all set.

However, keep in mind that a spouse benefit is a substitute benefit for your own retirement benefit. You will only get the spouse benefit if it turns out that it provided you more money each month than your own retirement benefit.

And because a spouse benefit, as well as an ex-spouse benefit (the 10 year rule), can be at most 50% of the amount the other spouse is receiving, this benefit may not be of any use to you if you are already collecting more than half of what your husband is collecting.

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 this holiday season,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.


I apologize for my delay in getting an answer to you. Unfortunately, while I am a very experienced attorney who handles social security law questions, I am not a professional typist and it takes a few minutes for me to type out answers of more than a yes or a no---and rarely does a yes or no answer satisfy any customer.

Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions.

You may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further.

I wish you well,