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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37652
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 am 62 years of age. I make only 670.00 a month at my job.

Customer Question

I am 62 years of age. I make only 670.00 a month at my job. When I was married my husband at that time was making at least 80,000. per year for the last fifteens years of our marriage. We divorced in 2004. I applied for social security this year. I received two checks with the amount of 458.00 dollars. Which I have decided not to take this year. I am going to try to go for the full amount at 66 years of age. The question that I have is that when I went to apply they told me that my ex husband doesn't have that much paid in and that I would not get very much more than my amount. This doesn't sound correct since he made over 80,000. from 1991 to 2004. He at this time is doing a contract job for a company in New Jersey. He tells me that he only works for 6 months out of the year. Well he also said he pays lots of taxes so see this just doesn't add up to me. Linda Paviol
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

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

You need to understand how a spouse benefit works and how it is determined. First, the greatest benefit a spouse can receive is 50% of their worker spouse's benefit. But at age 62 you would only get a maximum of 35% because you would be taking an early spouse benefit (before you reach 66).

Additionally, a retirement benefit is based on 35 years of earning history and 13 years of a good salary would not translate to a high benefit for your ex. I suspect what you were told by social security is correct and that you will have little to gain by taking a spouse benefit----at least before age 66.

At age 66 you may file a restricted benefit though, and take 50% of his benefit while allow your own benefit to increase by an additional 8% per year up to your age of 70---and that can significantly increase your own retirement benefit.

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,