Social Security Benefits 101 for the Divorcee

People who are divorced may be able to claim social security benefits based on their own work record and/or their ex-spouse’s work record.

The impact of this is that they may be able to begin collecting one of their benefits, the lesser one, at a younger age, while still building up their other benefit until a later age, before switching to that benefit.

Your remarriage can squelch your right to a benefit based on your ex’s work record.

Also, if your ex-spouse is still alive, your ex must already have applied for their own benefit.

For some people, these so-called dualie options can make a significant impact on their total benefits received.


  1. this USA Today article: Getting remarried may affect Social Security and
  2. this Motley Fool article: Regarding Social Security Benefits, What Widows and Ex-Spouses Must Know .