Program Description

Social Security's Disabled Surviving Divorced Spouse's Benefits are federally funded and administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are paid to the disabled surviving divorced spouse of a worker who had earned enough Social Security credits.

Program Requirements

To qualify for benefits as a disabled surviving spouse, you must be divorced from a deceased spouse and meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least age 50 but not yet age 60.
  • Have been married at least 10 years before the date the divorce became final.
  • Meet the disability related requirements.
  • Be unmarried, unless the marriage can be disregarded.
  • Not entitled to an equal or higher Social Security retirement benefit based on your own work.

To find out if you may be eligible for any of Social Security's benefits, use SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

Once you have completed the eligibility screening questionnaire, you will be provided with a list of benefits for which you may be eligible. Print this page for your records before going to the application site.

Application Process

Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivor’s benefits. For application information, please visit the How To Apply page.

Contact Information

Visit SSA's Publications Page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

Benefit Categories
Disability Assistance Social Security
family of three
Family Social Security
Spouse & Widow(er) Social Security