Qualifying for Social Security Benefits After a Virginia Divorce (Part A)
Social Security benefits, which began in 1935 under the Social Security Act, were designed to help ease financial burdens in situations such as old age, poverty, unemployment, disability and widowhood. Social Security policies have changed throughout the years, including the rules on qualifying for Social Security benefits after a Virginia divorce.
In previous years, you were not able to apply for Social Security benefits on your ex-husband's earnings records unless he had already been contributing to your support following your Virginia divorce. That restriction has been lifted, and you may now be entitled to Social Security benefits on your ex-husband's earnings records, provided you meet the Social Security Administration's (SSA) guidelines.
Qualifying for Social Security Benefits
Fortunately, Virginia divorce doesn't affect your ability to receive Social Security benefits from your ex-husband's earnings records. However, you'll still have to meet certain guidelines, and an experienced Virginia Beach divorce attorney can help you understand your responsibilities in applying for Social Security benefits.
You may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits after your Virginia divorce on your ex-husband's earnings records if:
- you're at least 62 years old; and
- you were married at least 10 years prior to your Virginia divorce.
It's also important to note that your benefits are not contingent upon your ex-husband's decision to claim or delay his benefits. In previous years, your former spouse had to be actually receiving Social Security benefits in order for you to receive them after your Virginia divorce. That's no longer the case, and you can now apply for the benefits on your ex-husband's earnings records, regardless of whether he claimed his Social Security benefits or not.
The SSA may not automatically notify you of your eligibility to receive benefits on your ex-husband's earnings records, so you'll need to apply for those benefits on your own. Your Virginia Beach divorce attorney can explain the details of how you can qualify and apply for Social Security benefits after your Virginia divorce.
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