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dylatess, ATTORNEY
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3441
Experience:  37 plus years of SSD practice
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If my ex-husband and I were married more than 10 years and

Customer Question

If my ex-husband and I were married more than 10 years and he dies and I remarry after is death and I had started drawing my SS at the age 62 can I still draw on his SS if his is more than mine?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

OK, I need some clarifications, so I can deliver you an accurate answer:

1) How old were you when you remarried?

2) How older were you when he died?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1) I was 63 when I got married again. At that time I was drawing his 23.00 for my part since I retired early due to breaking my leg and was unable to work for a while and the tax folks told me that I would not be able to make up enough difference since I had been working for the school driving a bus. They did not take out SS.
2) He passed away when 64 when he passed away. At that time they sent me a letter and told me that I could not draw and more until I was 66?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.


1) so you do not have a SS of your own, because you didn't pay in SS taxes in your lifetime (or not enough), is that right?

2) But you do get a pension then from your government/school job, yes?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1) No I did pay into SS I worked for the school for 6 years and I rolled over my retirement that was 3200.00 into a IRA when I took my SS. That is what the teachers retirement told me to do.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

SO how much is your SS based on YOUR own work record (not your ex's)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I get 550.00 a month now that they take out for Medicare.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

OH, OK, so what is this $23 from?

And what is your pension from the government? Do you have one from the school bus job?

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

And how old are you?

Are you on SS disabilty?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The 23.00 that SS stopped was when he past away and I was told I couldn't draw anymore until I was 66. I don't understand why. I took my retirement from the school and turned it into a IRA and I have not been able to add to it because I have not been able to financially. All I have coming in is the 550.00. The IRA only has 4200. in it now. I have not touched it at all.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm 65 and No I'm not on any SS disability. I have a small business that where I sale fashion jewelry to try to make ends meet. I make about 12,000.00 a year. My husband now was in prison for 32 years and he just got out last year and he works with me. He has not paid into SS since 1982.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

So you were getting $23/mo before he died for what reason? Were you getting two checks? $550 and $23? Before he died?

And are you saying you get NO monthly pension because you took a lump sum? So it is still a government pension you have, which you took all at once?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mine is only 660.00 a month less the Medicare cost.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I receive at this time 550. a month
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My ex-husband was on SS disability at the time of his death.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure for how long I know that it was for a couple of years. Due to a heartache
He had worked and paid into SS for a lot of years.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did get 2 checks before he died. No I do not get any pension. I rolled it over to an IRA.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
are you still there
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

OK, first, generally, when an ex spouse is ALIVE and we are over 62, if we are single, a spousal benefit on his record can be had IF it is greater than what we'd get on our own record. So if you got $23 and that was a divorced spouse benefit on top of YOUR $660 (pre Medicare deduction), then it appears that your reduced spousal was only a hair better than your own.

You got remarried at 63. That STOPS eligibility for divorced spousal, since you have a spouse. You must be unmarried to get a divorced spouse benefit.

Atter that, I think you are saying, the ex died. Now you are a divorced widow. And because you remarried after age 60, your remarriage should not prevent divorced widow options.

However, the amount of such survivor benefit would be potentially effected by the government pension offset. Because you got a government pension....

to be continued...

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

... the Government Pension Offset should be implicated to reduce or prevent a double taking of 2 government pensions, your own AND a dependent benefit such as a survivor benefit. Typically, this means that they take a figure/amount equal to 2/3 of your government pension (whatever the monthly amount was equal to before you lump summed it for a pay out) and subtract if from your survivor benefit. You haven't given me these figures, so I can't estimate what this would be. BUT, I can say this: You have not yet taken a survivor benefit yet, but when we do take before our full retirement age (66+), it is REDUCED, just like our own is. So, say at 63, it is reduced by 15% - your survivor benefit is. If his benefit was $600/mo, your survivor benefit would be, ball park, 600-90 - $510. If your Government pension was is 500/mo, 2/3 of that is 333. Take 333 from you survivor benefit, 510 - 333 = 177 in survivor benefit. THis is LESS than your own benefit of $550, so you would NOT want to switch to it - remember, we can only have 1 benefit AMOUNT from SS, and we tend to pick the highest, obviously. Now the number used above are just guess work, but that is generally how it works.

The question then is, will the survivor benefit some day be enough so that when you subtract the 2/3 of your pension, there is an amount better than your current $550. THe survivor benefit, will be at its max at age 66 (FRA) - the SSA seems to be suggesting that at its FULL MAX amount, you will have something to collect..... it may be SMALL, but if it is bigger than your $550, you can change to it.