What are the requirements for a divorced spouse to receive benefits?

DIVORCED SPOUSE: A person who is divorced after at least 10 years of marriage keeps certain benefit rights on the former spouse`s Social Security record. To receive benefits, the divorced spouse must be at least age 62 and his/her former spouse must be entitled to (receiving) benefits.

INDEPENDENTLY DIVORCED SPOUSE: Independently divorced spouse`s benefit are payable regardless of whether the former spouse has applied for benefits or has benefits withheld because he/she is working. However, he or she must be eligible for retirement benefits. To receive benefits, the divorced wife or husband must be at least age 62.

The divorced wife or husband also must have been married to the former spouse for at least 10 years and divorced for at least 2 years. The 2-year divorce requirement can be waived if the former spouse was entitled to benefits in the month before the month of divorce, but was not receiving the benefits because of work deductions.

Benefits usually cannot be paid to a remarried divorced spouse on the former spouse`s record unless the latter marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment).

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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