Today we have a question from a reader who is concerned about whether her ex-husband will somehow be able to take a portion of her Social Security benefits:
Hello, I hope you can help. I have been divorced since 1981, after being married for 12 years. I raised my children on my own during that time without child support. Interesting, our state’s child support department found him after 20 years. Granted me $xa month for several years.
My concern is that as an ex-husband he can apply for benefits from me. I don’t know if he remarried. He’s tried to ruin my life, but it’s not going to happen. How much of my benefit can he receive? I practically live on Social Security so I hope it’s not a big amount.
Technically, the answer to your question is that it is possible for your ex-spouse to receive Social Security benefits based on your file. Whether he actually receives that benefit depends on a number of factors.
If his own Social Security payment, based on his own earnings, exceeds 50% of your non-reduced basic insurance amount (the amount you would receive if you started taking benefits at your full retirement age), then he will not eligible to receive spousal support based on your file.
If he has remarried and remains married, he will also not be eligible for spousal maintenance based on your data.
In addition, if he receives a pension from a government agency, it will most likely reduce the amount of spousal support he can receive.
So that’s the technical answer to your big question.
However, I think the bigger question you’re asking is whether his claim for benefits based on your Social Security records will have any effect on your own benefits. And the good news is that no, this shouldn’t affect your benefits at all, regardless of the amount of spousal benefit he may or may not be eligible to receive. Spousal benefits, whether paid to a current spouse or ex-spouse, never reduce your own Social Security benefits.
Another factor that may apply in your situation is that if he still owes child support, it can be paid from any Social Security benefits he receives. Details on this can be quite complicated, so you’ll need to check with your state to determine if this applies to you.
It’s not in your question, but an additional factor I’d like to mention is that an ex-spouse receiving benefits will not affect the family maximum benefit for your other beneficiaries. So, for example, if you also had a current spouse and a child under the age of 18 who are both eligible for benefits based on your details, your ex-spouse’s receipt based on your data does not affect the rights of your current spouse and child. benefits.
Do you have questions about your pension, social security, where to live or how to afford it in the first place? Write to [email protected] and we can use your question in a future story.