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Reinstatement of Benefits When Marriage Terminates

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


1853. Reinstatement of Benefits When Marriage Terminates

1853.1 Can your benefits start again if your marriage ends?

Your benefits may start again under the following conditions:

  1. If your marriage is voided, your benefits may begin again as of the month they ended because of the marriage, subject to the rules on administrative finality (see §2016); or

  2. If your marriage has been annulled from the beginning in accordance with State law by a court having jurisdiction over the matter, your benefits can be reinstated as of the month the decree of annulment was issued. You must file a timely application.

1853.2 Who may have benefits on a prior spouse's earnings record in the event of remarriage?

If benefit rights ended because of remarriage, the following individuals may also have benefits on the prior spouse's Social Security earnings record:

  1. Divorced spouse;

  2. Mother or father;

  3. Widow(er);

  4. Surviving divorced spouse; or

  5. Surviving divorced mother or father.

Last Revised: March, 2001


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