Skip to main content

Am I allowed to collect alimony payments from my husbands social security?

Sacramento, CA |

I worked for my husband for sixteen years and never took a paycheck. If the judge awards me alimony for life, can I collect some of it from my husbands social security?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Maybe not as alimony directly, but there may be ways for you to receive benefits on your ex-spouse's Social Security earnings account.

Social Security is a federal program, so the rules are supposed to apply the same in each state.

So for Social Security benefits purposes, a divorced spouse can collect benefits on the account of the ex-spouse. At most, your benefit will be 50% of what your ex-spouse would receive at their full retirement age, if this amount is larger than what you could receive based on your own work record.

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if he or she has remarried). You must also meet the following criteria: You are currently unmarried and you are at least age 62.

(There are exceptions to the criteria above if your ex-spouse is deceased.)

And, then if you are awarded spousal support and there are payment issues for that support then...

The Social Security system limits the garnishment amount to the lesser of the State maximum or the maximum under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)) and is based on the law of the State where the beneficiary resides. Hereafter, the CCPA limit is referred to as the “Federal” limit. The CCPA limits garnishment to:

50%, if the beneficiary is supporting a spouse and/or child other than the spouse and/or child whose support has been ordered.

60%, if the beneficiary is not supporting another spouse and/or child.

55% or 65% respectively, if the garnishment order or other evidence submitted indicates the original support ordered is 12 or more weeks in arrears.

NOTE: SSI (Supplemental Security Income) payments are not subject to garnishment.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.



Mr. Wayson: Thank you very much for your reply. As I have no income to speak of ( my ex-husband is more than delinquent in support payments), I am acting as my own attorney, and trying to "help and support" my case by online research. My question now is, if you would be willing to profer an opinion, as to do the the the amount of time the judge awarded alimony effecting this issue. Originally, my spousal support was "lifetime," but recently in a bid to collect some of the monies due me, I may have agreed to four years alimony.I am disabled, and became so during the marriage, though I've made no claims for disability from the state or federal government. I realize you can't advise, but please know that there are those of us "out here" who greatly appreciate your taking your time to extend help in this arena. Again, my thanks.


Not likely.