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

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

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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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