The maximum allowable SS benefit amount ($2,861/mo for 2019; $1,430/mo for ex-spouse) is only payable to those who had the maximum taxable earnings for at least 35 working years. Depending on when you retire and how much you made while working, your benefits may be considerably less. The estimated average monthly benefit for "all retired workers" in 2019 is $1,461. The ex-spouse would get an average of only $730/mo. Even with several good TLC years, this fambly's multiple bankruptcies and love of precarious "jobs" makes me think they will be lucky if they get the average amount.