Q. I have had multiple sclerosis for over 33 years and have been receiving SSDI since about 1995. I worked part time as an LPN until 2010, but now I am totally disabled and 60 years old. I am single, but I have an ex. Can I collect on his Social Security? We have been married for 23 years and he retired three months ago.
A. There are several benefits provided by the Social Security Administration, and each benefit has different rules governing when you are allowed to apply for it.
Specifically in your case, you are currently receiving “disability benefits.
The key to your question is whether your ex-spouse is alive or dead, said Nicholas Scheibner, chartered financial planner at Baron Financial Group to Fair Lawn.
“Since it appears from your question that he is alive, you would be entitled to spousal benefits based on his record,” he said. “You must be at least 62 years old to apply for spousal benefits. “
Scheibner said that if he had died you would be entitled to survivor benefits, to which you would be entitled at age 60.
“If you are looking to maximize your social security, you can continue your SSDI payments until you reach full retirement age, at which time you can switch to your full spousal benefits,” he said. “That would entitle you to 100% of your spousal benefits. “
If you decide to start spousal benefits before your full retirement age, you can expect a permanent reduction in payments, he said.
“To figure out what you should be doing at 62, you will need to look at how much you are earning now. SSDI, versus the reduced benefit on your husband’s case, as well as determining your current cash flow needs to see what will work best for you, ”he said.
Note that you cannot receive the two advantages the same time.
You should contact Social Security directly to see exactly what your benefits might be.
Email your questions to [email protected].
Karin Price Mueller writes on Bamboo column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for NJMoneyHelp.com‘s weekly electronic newsletter.