Meriwether & Tharp, LLC
Meriwether & Tharp, LLC 1545 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 300 Varied
If you have divorce questions

Am I Entitled to Receive a Portion of My Ex-Spouses Social Security Benefits?

The short answer to this question is: It depends on the circumstances and duration of your marriage. However, if you meet the legal requirements, you indeed may be. The law governing Social Security benefits is Federal law, so it will be necessary for us to look to the Federal statutory law for the specific answer to this question. According to Federal law concerning Social Security benefits, you may be entitled to receive Social Security benefits on the account of your ex-spouse if:

  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to receive Social Security benefits (meaning he or she is at least 62 and otherwise eligible to receive benefits).
  • You are now at least 62 years old.
  • You were married to your spouse for at least ten years.
  • The benefits you would receive under your own work record are less than the benefits you would receive on your spouse’s account.
  • You are not currently married.
  • Your Social Security benefits under your own work record are less than his. (You can only receive one Social Security benefit.)
  • You are not currently married.

See 42 U.S.C. § 402(b) and (c). See also Bell v. Bell, 257 Ga. 172 (1987) and Rabek v. Kellum, 279 Ga. 709 (2005). If you meet these requirements, you will be entitled to receive an amount equaling half of your spouse’s Social Security benefit.  Receiving Social Security benefits on the account of your ex-spouse will not cause his or her benefits to decrease. If you meet the requirements outlined above, your ex-spouse will still receive the full amount of benefits he or she is entitled to, and you will receive 50% of that amount. For example, if your ex-spouse is eligible to receive $2,000 per month in Social Security benefits, and you apply to receive benefits on his or her account, you will be eligible to receive $1,000 per month. Your ex-spouse will continue to receive $2,000 per month. If you are seeking to learn more about divorce and Social Security benefits, you are welcome to speak with one of our family law professionals at Meriwether & Tharp. Call 678-879-9000 to speak with us today.

Back to Blog