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Do I need my ex-wife's SSN to apply for my own benefits?

I am retired and will turn 62 in February, 2013. According to the Social Security site, one of the things I "may" need to apply for benefits is date of marriage and divorce, and my ex-wife's SSN and DOB (and address?) I have had no contact with her for over 20 years, don't know where she lives, and don't have her SSN. Is this necessary, or can I go ahead and apply in November without it?

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The following link has a fairly comprehensive listing of what's required when applying for divorced spouse benefits :

Among the required items are a final divorce decree.

It also states they will ask you about :

  • Whether you are currently married and, if so, your spouse's name, date of birth (or age) and Social Security number (if known).
  • The names, dates of birth (or age) and Social Security numbers (if known) of any former spouses;

Thanks, but I was actually asking about when I apply for my OWN benefits, not divorced spouse benefits. I realize I might qualify, but I am about 99% certain my own benefit will be more than what I would get based on her employment.

Will they still need her information?

In my experience the answer is no. Unless you're applying under her work record, your previous relationship with her doesn't really factor into your benefits nor any benefits a new spouse or children may receive.


Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration