How Social Security Discriminates Against Young Divorced Parents

How Social Security Discriminates Against Young Divorced Parents

I am neither divorced nor a parent, but this fits the blog.

(Link): How Social Security Discriminates Against Young Divorced Parents

    Question:
    I’m divorced. My kids are under age 16. Can I collect a spousal benefit? I was married for more than 10 years. My ex was a true jerk.
    He ran off with my best friend’s cousin Sheila and left me with the kids to raise on my own.
    I should never have married an old cougar.
    Glad to be rid of him to tell the truth.

    [omit rest of her letter]

    Reply.

    Larry Kotlikoff:
    Dear Larrylie, thanks for asking such a perspicacious question. Unfortunately, I’ve got bad news for you. Divorcée spousal benefits are not available to mothers of children under age 16 (even though your ex has filed for his retirement benefit) — unless the mother is 62 or older.

    But you aren’t age 62 or older. You are too young, and you’re divorced, therefore Social Security treats you differently from someone who is young but married. If you find this outrageous and unfair, I’m with you.

    But someone — probably a male — decided a very long time ago that divorced spouses with young children weren’t as worthy or needy as married spouses with young children.

    You might want to write your Congresswoman and ask her if she thinks this stinks and when she is going to fix it.