Program Description

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

General Program Requirements

In order 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 receives Social Security retirement or disability benefits
  • Have been married to that person for at least 10 years before the date the divorce became  final
  • Not be entitled an equal or higher retirement or disability benefits.

Based on the information you gave, you meet the third requirement. Therefore, you could get Social Security divorced spouse's benefits beginning at age 62 if you are not getting a higher benefit on your own work record and, you are not married, and your former spouse is receiving benefits. However, If your former spouse is deceased, you could get surviving divorced spouse benefits beginning at age 60.

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 program.

Application Process

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

Program Contact Information

Would you like more information about divorced spouse's benefits?
Visit SSA’s Publications Home page and review Chapter 3 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)