Can I get survivor's benefits related to my ex-spouse?

Under the United States Social Security system, spouses can continue to receive survivor's benefits after their husband or wife passes away. However, what about survivor's benefits after an ex-spouse passes away?

Yes, in some cases, Florida residents might be able to seek survivors benefits even in situations when the person who passed away is no longer married to them. If you're in this situation, you'll want to educate yourself on what the law says on the topic.

The requirements to receive ex-spouse survivor's benefits

Let's say you just discovered that your ex-spouse of 20 years just passed away. Here are the requirements you must meet if you wish to seek survivor's benefits:

-- You were married for at least a decade.

-- You've reached the age of 60, or you're 50 years of age and disabled.

-- You didn't remarry before reaching the age of 60.

-- Your ex-spouse is deceased and contributed sufficient money to qualify for Social Security benefits by the time of his or her death.

Meeting these requirements will allow you to seek widow's or widower's benefits under the U.S. Social Security system. However, a number of financial benefits you can receive will depend on the level at which your ex-spouse contributed to the program during his or her working years. It will also depend on how old you were when you started to collect the survivor's benefits. The earlier you started collecting benefits, for example, the less you will likely receive.

Other benefits that may be available

In addition to survivor's benefits, if you have a child below the age of 16, who is also the child of your ex-spouse, you may be able to receive up to 75 percent of the deceased person's Social Security benefits no matter how old you are.

Get help from an experienced family law attorney

To understand how a divorce or death could affect your Social Security income, Florida residents may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney. Your attorney can provide more detailed information to you as it applies to the unique family law challenges you're currently facing.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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