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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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I was married years and have been divorced years. I am not

Customer Question

I was married for 21 years and have been divorced for 22 years. I am not remarried. I understand I am able to receive my ex-spouse SS instead of mine, based on whichever is higher.
How do I find out what his benefit is?
If he is already taking his benefits and I am still working, am I entitled to any part of that while I'm still working. We are both 65.
thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon Bonnie,

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

Based on having been married more than 10 years and being single now, you are indeed eligible for a spouse benefit. However, taking a benefit nor would mean that you will get less than 50% of his benefit or less than 100% of yours because there is a penalty for taking a benefit before full retirement age.

You are allowed to take an early benefit and continue working so long as you don't earn too much. And if that is you decision you will simply need to tell social security that you want to apply for a spouse benefit and they will automatically look at both your spouse and personal benefit and pay you the greater of the two.

As for working while you are less than full retirement age (66):

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, social security will deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2015, that limit is $15,720.

In the year you reach full retirement age, social security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit. In 2015, the limit on your earnings is $41,880 but they only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age.

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,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please clarify. I will not take anything until 66 which is March.
I am in need of information as to what I am entitled to of his SS
Thank you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

At full retirement age you will be entitled to exactly 50% of the amount he was eligible for when he turned 66. ONLY social security (or your ex if he is willing) have that information and so only they can tell you whether half of his benefit will be greater than 100% of your own benefit. You can see your own estimated full retirement benefit based on your social security earnings statement available here:

But after age 66, you are free to take your benefit or an ex-spouse benefit and also earn as much as you can---and your social security benefit will not be effected.

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,