If you want to apply for your ex’s Social Security benefits, there are many elements to consider. For one, courts have always looked at earnings when dividing benefits. The duration of your and your spouse’s marriage is also essential. Your marital status is another deciding factor, as well as all the attenuating circumstances of your divorce.
With the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, your birth date will be an additional component when you seek Social Security spousal benefits. Whether you were born before or after Jan. 1, 1954, can have an impact on what you can do.
You will have more leeway if your birthdate was on or before New Year’s of 1954. You may get a chance to use your spouse’s benefits as you continue to grow your own. By suspending your benefit, you can give it time to go up by 8% each year until it maxes out when you are 70. This way, you will have more to claim when you decide to switch over.
If you are born after Jan. 1, 1954, you will not be able to file for a specific Social Security benefit and then switch later. You will simply get the higher benefit available to you. However, if your ex passed away, you should be able to switch with Social Security survivor benefits.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 is inconvenient for some, but knowing your limits will help you prepare ahead of time. Regardless of your birth date, it is crucial that you plan ahead for retirement and ensure that you get your entitlements.