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If you have been married for ten years or more you may qualify for Social Security benefits through your spouse. There are four requirements which you need to fulfill in order to apply for benefits.

The first one is having been married ten or more years to your spouse. Below are the other three:

  1. You are unmarried;
  2. You are at least 62 years old; and
  3. You are not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on your own record.

Do keep in mind if you remarry you will most likely lose this Social Security benefit, unless you remarry the same spouse. If you do remarry and the marriage ends in divorce, annulment or a deceased spouse you may qualify for benefits from the initial spouse you married.

You do not have to rely on your spouse to fill out an application for benefits. If he or she qualifies you can go ahead and initiate the paperwork for your benefits regardless of the action your spouse may or may not have taken.

In the event that your spouse becomes deceased you may qualify for benefits as a surviving spouse. In this case the requirements are slightly different, though you must have still been married for at least ten or more years. Listed below are the other two general requirements:

  1. You are at least age 60, if you are disabled then you can apply at age 50; and
  2. You are not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on your own record.

Benefits paid to a surviving or divorced spouse will not affect benefits paid to family members under the same record. To receive an estimate of your possible benefits you can contact a representative at your local Social Security office.

As you are considering your assets and debts in your marriage, you may also want to have a settlement agreement which will legally protect your financial future. Attorney James Cairns also concentrates on settlement agreements, call 888.863.9115 for more information or click on SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT to learn more.

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