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Q: My ex-husband (we were married for 18 years) has remarried, as have I. If I were to apply for ex-spousal benefits will that diminish any payment of benefits to his current family? I would not apply if this is the case. If he has not applied to receive Social Security benefits (he’s 67 now) can I still apply for them? Do I need to be 65 or older to apply? I am 59. — Jane Ager, Midlothian, Va.
A: If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment), according to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website.
“To get ex-spousal benefits while your former spouse is alive, you have to be single,” says Andy Landis, author of Social Security: The Inside Story. “So you can’t get ex-spousal benefits right now, while you’re married. Check with the Social Security Administration if things change, especially if you’re again single (widowed or divorced).”
Also, if you had been able to apply for divorced spouse benefits, you wouldn’t have had to worry about diminishing any payment of benefits to his current family. The amount of benefits you’d get has no effect on the amount your ex-spouse or his or her current spouse may receive.
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