Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills.
Post Reply
Topic Author
TonyDee
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:48 pm

Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by TonyDee »

Hi All,

Hoping someone familiar with social security can help me out.
Can a surviving ex-spouse receive SS benefits of a deceased ex-spouse
Even if the deceased ex-spouse remarried ?

Thanks !
User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 8566
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by Kenkat »

Yes, provided the surviving spouse and the deceased were married for 10 years or more. The surviving spouse cannot have remarried.

https://blog.ssa.gov/ex-spouse-benefits ... ffect-you/
neilpilot
Posts: 4430
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by neilpilot »

In addition to what Kenkat says, the ex-spouse can receive spousal benefits based on their ex even before their ex-spouse passes. However, if the surviving ex-spouse remarries, that can have an impact. There are other conditions.

Suggested reading: https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social- ... lsrc=aw.ds
Weathering
Posts: 544
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:20 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by Weathering »

How is this different between a living ex-spouse and a dead ex-spouse?
With a living ex-spouse, the claiming ex-spouse would receive 1/2 of the SS dollars that their ex-spouse receives.
With a deceased ex-spouse, does the living ex-spouse get the full SS dollars that their ex-spouse received while living, or only the same 50% as when the ex-spouse was living?
tallguy3891
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2021 10:47 am

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by tallguy3891 »

Kenkat wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:37 pm Yes, provided the surviving spouse and the deceased were married for 10 years or more. The surviving spouse cannot have remarried.

https://blog.ssa.gov/ex-spouse-benefits ... ffect-you/
There are exceptions for remarriage. See the aarp link in neilpilot's post about remarriage, etc.
User avatar
HueyLD
Posts: 9292
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:30 am

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by HueyLD »

Kenkat wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:37 pm Yes, provided the surviving spouse and the deceased were married for 10 years or more. The surviving spouse cannot have remarried.

https://blog.ssa.gov/ex-spouse-benefits ... ffect-you/
From KenKat’s link:

“ If you have since remarried, you can’t collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ended by annulment, divorce, or death.”
shunkman
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by shunkman »

My parents were divorced in the 1980s. My mother remarried but that marriage ended too. When my re-married father passed away recently the SSA contacted my mother by mail and said she may be eligible for additional benefits. She will now be getting about $200 more per month based on my father's earnings and survivor benefits.
Last edited by shunkman on Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
vested1
Posts: 3020
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by vested1 »

As a gesture of good will I informed my ex-spouse, who I was married to for 10 years that she could file for a spousal benefit on my record and/or a survivor's benefit on my record when that occasion occurred. She remarried many years after our divorce, but that marriage was short and volatile. She has vowed to never remarry, for which every man in her general vicinity should give thanks, IMHO.

Immediately after telling her of these possibilities, and providing suggestions on her waiting for her full FRA of 67 to get the highest of either option, she suggested that I take up skydiving, gator wrestling, or bomb disposal in the interim as a hobby to liven up my retirement.

The 30 year anniversary of my subsequent marriage is two weeks away, and even though I waited until age 70 to file for my SS benefit, my current wife has suggested that I take up photography, rather than wrestling gators or deciding whether to cut the red wire or the green wire on the next ticking bomb I encounter.
FellsGuy
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:30 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by FellsGuy »

it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six , result happiness. | Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery”
User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 8566
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by Kenkat »

vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:49 am As a gesture of good will I informed my ex-spouse, who I was married to for 10 years that she could file for a spousal benefit on my record and/or a survivor's benefit on my record when that occasion occurred. She remarried many years after our divorce, but that marriage was short and volatile. She has vowed to never remarry, for which every man in her general vicinity should give thanks, IMHO.

Immediately after telling her of these possibilities, and providing suggestions on her waiting for her full FRA of 67 to get the highest of either option, she suggested that I take up skydiving, gator wrestling, or bomb disposal in the interim as a hobby to liven up my retirement.

The 30 year anniversary of my subsequent marriage is two weeks away, and even though I waited until age 70 to file for my SS benefit, my current wife has suggested that I take up photography, rather than wrestling gators or deciding whether to cut the red wire or the green wire on the next ticking bomb I encounter.
Hilarious post, thanks for the laugh! Sounds like you got a good one second time around :thumbsup
vested1
Posts: 3020
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by vested1 »

FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:12 am it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
When you consider the more cogent reasons for the divorce of a minimum 10 year marriage, the iconic words of John Houseman in "The Paper Chase" come to mind. (Paraphrased) "Because they earned it".
FellsGuy
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:30 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by FellsGuy »

vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:40 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:12 am it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
When you consider the more cogent reasons for the divorce of a minimum 10 year marriage, the iconic words of John Houseman in "The Paper Chase" come to mind. (Paraphrased) "Because they earned it".
Oh not denying anyone what is due its just amazing you can pull 3,4,5, gallons out of a one gallon container potentially...
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six , result happiness. | Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery”
vested1
Posts: 3020
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by vested1 »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:22 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:49 am As a gesture of good will I informed my ex-spouse, who I was married to for 10 years that she could file for a spousal benefit on my record and/or a survivor's benefit on my record when that occasion occurred. She remarried many years after our divorce, but that marriage was short and volatile. She has vowed to never remarry, for which every man in her general vicinity should give thanks, IMHO.

Immediately after telling her of these possibilities, and providing suggestions on her waiting for her full FRA of 67 to get the highest of either option, she suggested that I take up skydiving, gator wrestling, or bomb disposal in the interim as a hobby to liven up my retirement.

The 30 year anniversary of my subsequent marriage is two weeks away, and even though I waited until age 70 to file for my SS benefit, my current wife has suggested that I take up photography, rather than wrestling gators or deciding whether to cut the red wire or the green wire on the next ticking bomb I encounter.
Hilarious post, thanks for the laugh! Sounds like you got a good one second time around :thumbsup
Yes, she did.
vested1
Posts: 3020
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by vested1 »

FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:40 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:12 am it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
When you consider the more cogent reasons for the divorce of a minimum 10 year marriage, the iconic words of John Houseman in "The Paper Chase" come to mind. (Paraphrased) "Because they earned it".
Oh not denying anyone what is due its just amazing you can pull 3,4,5, gallons out of a one gallon container potentially...
5? After a minimum of 50 years of marriage, a Congressional Medal of Honor should be considered.
sailaway
Posts: 5923
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by sailaway »

vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:00 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:40 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:12 am it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
When you consider the more cogent reasons for the divorce of a minimum 10 year marriage, the iconic words of John Houseman in "The Paper Chase" come to mind. (Paraphrased) "Because they earned it".
Oh not denying anyone what is due its just amazing you can pull 3,4,5, gallons out of a one gallon container potentially...
5? After a minimum of 50 years of marriage, a Congressional Medal of Honor should be considered.
It could be 40+1 with a current spouse.

Would the second spouse of a bigamist lose out because their marriage wasn't valid?
vested1
Posts: 3020
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by vested1 »

sailaway wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:02 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:00 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:40 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:12 am it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
When you consider the more cogent reasons for the divorce of a minimum 10 year marriage, the iconic words of John Houseman in "The Paper Chase" come to mind. (Paraphrased) "Because they earned it".
Oh not denying anyone what is due its just amazing you can pull 3,4,5, gallons out of a one gallon container potentially...
5? After a minimum of 50 years of marriage, a Congressional Medal of Honor should be considered.
It could be 40+1 with a current spouse.
It would depend on the quality of the current spouse at the time of death of the higher earner. At the very least a Purple Heart would seem appropriate.

Would the second spouse of a bigamist lose out because their marriage wasn't valid?
It would depend on the state of residence where the polygamous weddings took place /s.
FellsGuy
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:30 pm

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by FellsGuy »

vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:00 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:40 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:12 am it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
When you consider the more cogent reasons for the divorce of a minimum 10 year marriage, the iconic words of John Houseman in "The Paper Chase" come to mind. (Paraphrased) "Because they earned it".
Oh not denying anyone what is due its just amazing you can pull 3,4,5, gallons out of a one gallon container potentially...
5? After a minimum of 50 years of marriage, a Congressional Medal of Honor should be considered.
You'd really have to plan that one out haha, its sort of like the stories about still paying Civil War pensions out or Revolutionary War pensions look up Esther Sumner Damon...
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six , result happiness. | Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery”
SuzBanyan
Posts: 1421
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:20 am

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by SuzBanyan »

sailaway wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:02 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:00 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am
vested1 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:40 am
FellsGuy wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:12 am it is amazing that someone could have 3 or 4 spouses possibly even more pulling the same benefits from the same contributions with the simple 10 years or more of marriage rule.
When you consider the more cogent reasons for the divorce of a minimum 10 year marriage, the iconic words of John Houseman in "The Paper Chase" come to mind. (Paraphrased) "Because they earned it".
Oh not denying anyone what is due its just amazing you can pull 3,4,5, gallons out of a one gallon container potentially...
5? After a minimum of 50 years of marriage, a Congressional Medal of Honor should be considered.
It could be 40+1 with a current spouse.

Would the second spouse of a bigamist lose out because their marriage wasn't valid?
A friend of the family found out when she was in her 60’s that her husband of 30 years was still married to another woman and that he had changed his name to escape from the mob/feds 50 years ago, which led him to throw all their joint tax returns in the trash every year rather than file them. This has obviously been a nightmare for her, and she has had difficulties getting social security benefits even based on her own earnings record.
tallguy3891
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2021 10:47 am

Re: Social security for surviving ex-spouse

Post by tallguy3891 »

HueyLD wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:25 am
Kenkat wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:37 pm Yes, provided the surviving spouse and the deceased were married for 10 years or more. The surviving spouse cannot have remarried.

https://blog.ssa.gov/ex-spouse-benefits ... ffect-you/
From KenKat’s link:

“ If you have since remarried, you can’t collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ended by annulment, divorce, or death.”
But, if a surviving ex-spouse remarries at age 60 or older (or 50 or older if disabled and after becoming disabled) then they can draw benefits off the prior spouse from whom they were divorced. If they remarried before those age situations they cannot draw benefits off the prior spouse unless the subsequent marriage ends. There are also rules for void marriages and annulment situations. See the Social Security Handbook Section 406. And of course, verify with Social Security for the latest regulations.
Post Reply