Can I get Medicare and Social Security from my ex?


Q. I have lived in New Jersey all of my life. I was married 19 years before we divorced. Am I eligible for my ex’s Social Security and Medicare when either I become of retirement age and/or his death?
— Divorced

A. Based on the length of your marriage, you may be eligible for benefits from your ex as a divorced spouse.

To be eligible, you must remain unmarried, and your ex’s benefit must be higher than your own retirement benefit, said Timothy Brunnock, a financial advisor and attorney with Trinity Financial Strategies in Morristown.

(Note, he said, there is a caveat to this. If you were born before Jan. 2, 1954, you could file for what’s known as a restricted application.)

“If your ex-husband dies, and you remain unmarried or remarry after age 60, you would also become eligible for a divorced spouse survivor benefit,” he said. “When you reach age 65, you become eligible for Medicare based on your ex-husband’s work record, as long as he is at least age 62.”

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