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Ex-Spouse and Divorce Benefit Qualification

You, as an ex-spouse, can receive benefits on a former spouse’s Social Security record if you :

  • Were married to the former spouse for at least 10 years;
  • Are at least age 62 years old;
  • Are unmarried; and
  • Are not entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on your own record.

In addition, the your former spouse must be entitled to receive his or her own retirement or disability benefit. If the former spouse is eligible for a benefit, but has not yet applied for it, the you can still receive a benefit if you meet the eligibility requirements above and have been divorced from your former spouse for at least two years.

Generally, Social Security cannot pay benefits if the you remarry 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.


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