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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

When are you entitled to divorced spouse's insurance benefits?


311. When are you entitled to divorced spouse's insurance benefits?

You are entitled to a divorced spouse's insurance benefits on the worker's Social Security record if:

  1. The worker is entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits;

  2. You have filed an application for divorced spouse's benefits;

  3. You are not entitled to a retirement or disability insurance benefit based on a primary insurance amount which equals or exceeds one-half the worker's primary insurance amount;

  4. You are age 62 or over;

  5. You are not married; and

  6. You were married to the worker for 10 years before the date the divorce became final.

Note: You are not entitled before age 62 even if you have an entitled child in care.

The divorced spouse of a worker who is not entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits, but who has reached age 62 and is fully insured, can become independently entitled to benefits on the worker's earnings record. To do so, however, the divorced spouse must meet the requirements in (B)-(F) above and have been divorced from the worker for not less than two continuous years.

Last Revised: Feb. 6, 2003

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collecting half of ex-husbands social security

August 24, 2008 by Guest

i was told that at age 62 i can collect half of my ex-husbands social security even if he is not collecting yet...i was also told i could flip over to mine at age 66 and then collect my social security payment...what is the rule for this??? thank you...

Collecting ex-husband's SS who is deceased.

July 28, 2011 by Guest

Can I choose to receive my ex-husand's social security rather than mine if he made more during his work history than I did. He is now deceased, and I was married to him for more than 10 years.

Collecting survivor benefits from ex-husband's work record

July 28, 2011 by David Luhman

Yes, this is possible. See the following link for a rather detailed discussion of your options :

"If your husband or ex-husband is deceased, you can choose which benefit to apply for now or choose to postpone filing for either benefit until you reach full retirement age..."

Benefits Question for Social Security

November 15, 2011 by Guest

Can I collect any kind of benefit\social security from my ex-husband if I have remarried?

Benefits from former spouse in case of remarriage

November 15, 2011 by David Luhman

Generally, the SSA cannot pay retirement benefits if the divorced spouse remarries someone other than the former spouse, unless the latter marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment), or the marriage is to a person entitled to certain types of Social Security auxiliary or survivor's benefits.

In general, you cannot receive survivors benefits if you remarry before the age of 60 unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment.

Divorced spouse's insurance benefits:

February 8, 2012 by Guest

I am disable and receiving social security. I remarried at the age of 62. I was married to my first husband for 17 years. He is 66 years old now and fully vested in his S.S.. Can i receive part of his S.S.? We divorced in 1985. He is not deceased.

Divorce, remarriage and benefits based on former spouse record

February 9, 2012 by David Luhman

If you remarry, you generally cannot collect retirement benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment).

collecting benefits from 1st husband

March 15, 2012 by Guest

I remarried and am currently collecting benefits from my deceased 2nd husband's social security--Can I also collect from my first husbands benefits--In other words from both husbands Social Security?

Collecting retirement benefits from first spouse if remarried

March 15, 2012 by David Luhman

I have never seen a case of this kind of "double dipping".

Generally, the SSA will not pay benefits if the divorced spouse remarries someone other than the former spouse, unless the latter marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment), or the marriage is to a person entitled to certain types of Social Security auxiliary or survivor's benefits.

However, in general I've seen that you can receive the highest single benefit for which you would qualify. Since your second marriage ended by death, you may qualify for benefits based on the first marriage.

Please contact the SSA to learn about your particular case.

Still married

March 18, 2012 by Guest

How do I find out if the man I am married to (but seperated from) is collecting Social security benefits or SSI, Disability? And since we are still married and he won't grant me a divorce am I entitled to his benefits?
v__ @

Qualifying for benefits on record of separated spouse

March 19, 2012 by David Luhman

If your spearated spouse is still living, privacy rules likely will prohibit the SSA from giving you his Earnings Statement. But the SSA can tell you what benefits you may be entitled to after they have established your relationship to him.

SS on exhusband's benefits

July 30, 2012 by Guest

I do not have enough quarters to draw social security at 62, but my exhusband is disabled and drawing ssd(at present). Will I be able to draw some social security on his work record? I will also be receiving a civil service retirement pension in the near future. We were married for 19 years.

Social Security, Government Pension Offset , and divorce

July 30, 2012 by David Luhman

I recommend contacting Social Security directly as you may be eligible for a Social Security benefit based on your ex-husband's 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) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

However, if you will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, your Social Security benefit on your ex-spouse's record may be affected. This offset is referred to as the Government Pension Offset, or GPO.

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