Program Description

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

Program Requirements

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

  • Be at least age 60.
  • Be divorced from the deceased worker.
  • Have been married to the deceased worker for at least 10 years.
  • Not be entitled to an equal or higher Social Security benefit on your own work record.
  • Be unmarried (unless an exception applies).

If you would like to find out if you may be eligible for any of Social Security's benefit programs, use the U.S. Social Security Administration’s (SSA) 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
family
Family Social Security
spouse
Spouse & Widow(er) Social Security