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Ask Bob: Can I Receive Retroactive Social Security Spousal Benefits?

Our expert answers this reader's question about receiving retroactive Social Security spousal benefits.

Question

Regarding surviving divorced spousal benefits, are they retroactive to the date the deceased ex-spouse passed?

My mother never applied for divorced spousal benefits when she and my father divorced about 30 years ago after over 10 years of marriage. Is it too late to apply?

Answer

With regard to the first question, in most cases the maximum retroactivity is 6 months (or 12 months in some disability-related cases), says Mike Piper, CPA and author of Social Security Made Simple.

“With regard to the second question,” he says, “no, it's not too late. But again, the maximum retroactivity is probably 6 months.”

Got questions? Get answers!

Email Robert.Powell@thearenagroup.net.  


LGBTQ marriage
The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's "primary insurance amount," depending on the spouse's age at retirement.
ask bob

Question

Regarding surviving divorced spousal benefits, are they retroactive to the date the deceased ex-spouse passed?

My mother never applied for divorced spousal benefits when she and my father divorced about 30 years ago after over 10 years of marriage. Is it too late to apply?

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