Do you get your ex spouses Social Security benefits first?

HomeDo you get your ex spouses Social Security benefits first?
Do you get your ex spouses Social Security benefits first?

If you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record and divorced spouse’s benefits, we will pay the retirement benefit first. If the benefit on your ex-spouse’s record is higher, you will get an additional amount on your ex-spouse’s record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

Q. When do you and your spouse start collecting Social Security?

Remember that you don’t have to start taking your benefits at those milestone ages; you and your spouse can start collecting anytime between ages 62 and 70. Go to to get your Social Security estimates External site

Q. Can you collect full Social Security benefits at 62?

At that time, if he has filed for benefits, you will be eligible for 50% of his primary insurance amount, or the benefit that he will collect when he turns age 67. It is important to note that you will be eligible for half of his full retirement benefit, even if he claims his benefits at age 62.

Q. Can a former spouse collect Social Security if they are on disability?

Your ex-spouse is entitled to collect Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Your former spouse doesn’t have to be collecting his or her retirement benefits yet for you to claim ex-spousal benefits.

Q. Can you file for Social Security at 62 and switch to spousal?

In this case, you can claim your own Social Security beginning at 62 and make the switch to spousal benefits when your husband or wife files. Social Security will not pay the sum of your retirement and spousal benefits; you’ll get a payment equal to the higher of the two benefits.

Q. Can a spouse collect Social Security on their own work record?

You can collect benefits on a spouse’s work record regardless of whether you also worked. If your own retirement benefit is lower than your spousal benefit, Social Security will pay you the higher amount. To qualify for survivor benefits, you must have been:

Q. When is the surviving spouse entitled to Social Security?

When the surviving spouse hasn’t reached full retirement age, they will be entitled to prorated amounts starting at age 60. At their full retirement age, the surviving spouse is entitled to 100% of the deceased spouse’s benefit or to their own benefit, whichever is higher. 8 

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