Social Security Independently Entitled Divorced Spouse's Benefits

Program Description

The Social Security Independently Entitles Divorced Spouse’s Benefits are a federally funded program administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). These are benefits that are paid to divorced spouses of workers who are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

General Program Requirements

To qualify for this benefit program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 62 years old and not currently married
  • Be divorced from a person who is at least 62 years old and has enough work credits to get Social Security benefits
  • Have been married to that person for at least 10 years and divorced for at least two continuous years
  • Not be entitled an equal or higher Social Security retirement benefit or disability benefit based on your own work.

Based on the information you gave, you meet the second and third requirements. So, you could get independently entitled divorced spouse's benefits beginning at age 62 if your former spouse has enough work credits, you are not remarried, and you are not getting a higher benefit on your own work record.

PLEASE NOTE: If you get (or will get) a pension based on work for an employer who did not withhold Social Security taxes, such as a government agency or an employer in another country, your Social Security benefits may be reduced. Visit SSA’s Publications Home Page and review A Pension from Work Not Covered by Social Security, Social Security Publication Number 05-10045 and Government Pension Offset, Social Security Publication Number 05-10007.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process

Visit the Apply For Social Security Benefits webpage to apply online.

Program Contact Information

Would you like more information about disabled widow's or widower's benefits?
Visit SSA’s Publications Home Page and review the publication "Survivors," Social Security Publication Number 05-10084 or review Chapter 4 of the Social Security Handbook.

Would you like more information about social security credits?
Visit SSA's Publications Home page and review "Social Security: How You Earn Credits," Social Security Publication Number 05-10072.

Or for additional information on this and any SSA benefit, call:
1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)