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Can I Claim Benefits Based on My Third Husband's Record?

What about benefits for children with disabilities?

En español | Q. I've been married three times. The first two were for less than three years, but I was with my last husband for 23 years before we divorced. Am I entitled to Social Security benefits from my last marriage?

 

A. With 23 years with your third ex-spouse, you meet the marriage time requirement — only 10 years are needed. In addition, to claim benefits based on his record, you must:

  • Be at least 62 years old.
  • Be unmarried.
  • Not be eligible for an equal or higher benefit on your own Social Security record or on someone else's — in that case, you would get the higher benefit.


More information on benefits available to divorced spouses is available on the Social Security website.

En español |Q. Does Social Security provide any benefits to families whose children are born with disabilities or become disabled in later years?

A. Yes. Social Security provides benefits for children with disabilities under its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. And adults who've been disabled since childhood may qualify for benefits under its Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI).

You should read the Social Security booklet "Benefits for Children With Disabilities." You'll find detailed information about both programs and how to apply. The booklet also describes employment programs for young people with disabilities and relevant state Medicaid and federal Medicare programs. It's useful reading for any parent with a child who develops a disability — either at birth or in later years.

Stan Hinden is a longtime financial writer and author of How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire.

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