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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Spousal Social Security Benefits

Term Definition Spousal Social Security Benefits - monthly cash payments to which a spouse, or former spouse, is entitled under the Social Security Act on account of the work history of the other spouse, and in the case of marital dissolution, the duration of the marriage.
Application in Divorce Very often in a divorce, one party (usually the woman) overlooks the fact that she may have the right to collect Social Security benefits premised on her former spouse’s income. This happens if 1) the couple were married at least ten years, 2) the divorce ended the marriage two years earlier and 3) the former spouse is eligible to receive benefits (which means that he is at least 62).

However, a woman who remarries before the age of 60 loses her spousal Social Security benefits.

The Social Security Administration provides guidance in the calculation of spousal Social Security benefits.

See Social Security Benefits.

Resources: The Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration (SSA), Baltimore, MD 21235. Call 1 800-772-1213. www.ssa.gov.

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