Ask Social Security Questions and Get Answers ASAP
Hello, I would like to assist you. To confirm, you are now separated and not divorced, correct?
You are not eligible to receive a spousal benefit until your spouse files for their own benefit first; different rules will apply if you do get divorced (you might be entitled to more in benefits).
As a spouse, you can claim a Social Security benefit based on your own earnings record, or you can collect a spousal benefit that will provide you 50% of the amount of your spouse’s Social Security benefit as calculated at their full retirement age (FRA). (Each person's FRA depends on their year of birth.)
If you file before you reach your own full retirement age, your spousal benefit will be calculated as 50% of what your spouse would get at their full retirement age, but then it will be further reduced because you are filing early.
You are automatically entitled to receive the benefit that provides you the higher monthly amount; either a benefit based on your own earnings, or a spousal benefit based on your spouse's or ex-spouse's earnings, and prior to reaching full retirement age, Social Security makes this determination for you.
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