Social Security spousal benefits
When filing for Social Security, the benefits that people get depend on how many years they have worked in their lifetime as well as how much money they have made. The more years of work and the higher the salary you had, the larger your benefits will be. This also depends on your spouse– if you didn’t work but your spouse did, you can claim their income as part of your filing and get some benefits that way. When one spouse dies, their surviving partner is entitled to a death benefit.
Few people are aware that this actually applies to divorced couples as well. If the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and the filing spouse has not remarried since the divorce decree was issued, then they can use their ex’s income as part of their filing, even if that ex has remarried. This can lead to a massive increase in Social Security benefits, but not many people know that this is even possible. It is an important benefit if one spouse did not work during the marriage, because it means they can boost their benefits and help support their retirement.
These cases are not common and the filing party will need to talk to the Social Security Administration and make sure they get the filing right, because the agency will not apply these benefits automatically.