HomeFinance NewsPersonal financeYour Ex's Death Could Double Your Social Security Windfall!

Your Ex’s Death Could Double Your Social Security Windfall!


Social Security benefits after divorce: In some cases ‘your ex is worth twice as much dead than alive,’ expert says


Under certain conditions, former spouses who meet specific criteria are entitled to Social Security benefits based on their ex’s work history.

This entitlement includes up to 50% of the ex-spouse’s benefit during their lifetime.

However, upon the ex-spouse’s death, the surviving ex-spouse’s benefit can increase to 100% of the deceased ex-spouse’s benefit, essentially doubling its value.

To qualify for these benefits, the former spouse must be at least 62 years old, unmarried, and divorced for a minimum of two years.

Additionally, the ex-spouse must have been married to the benefit recipient for at least 10 years.

Claiming benefits based on an ex-spouse’s record does not affect or reduce the ex’s benefits.

Additionally, the ex-spouse is not notified about a claim made by a former spouse.

The process of claiming benefits involves retaining essential documents like the ex-spouse’s Social Security number and marriage and divorce certificates.

The Social Security Administration understands the challenges faced by individuals, particularly women, who may have limited retirement security due to traditional gender roles.

As a result, surviving ex-spouses (and widows) are eligible for up to 100% of the decedent’s benefit as survivors benefits, ensuring a safety net for those who may have limited earnings.

To be eligible for survivors benefits, the surviving ex-spouse must be at least 62 years old and must not have remarried before age 60.

However, survivors can claim benefits as early as age 60, though the benefits may be reduced compared to waiting until full retirement age.

These Social Security rules provide valuable support for divorced spouses, especially women, who may have faced financial challenges due to past circumstances.

Understanding these rules can ensure individuals claim the benefits they are entitled to, safeguarding their financial security in retirement.

  • Overall sentiment: positive
  • Positive

    “Social Security is one of the most popular benefits the government offers.”

    “It’s one of the best [financial] protections anyone has against old age.”


    “The rules around claiming Social Security benefits are full of caveats and nuances.”

    “We’re seeing women in divorce today who are of the generation where they just didn’t work their entire life”

latest articles

explore more