If you are divorced and were married at least 10 years to your ex-spouse, you are entitled to a spousal or survivors Social Security benefits.
The following is from the 2011 AICPA CPA’s Guide to Social Security Retirement Benefits.
For ex-spouses …
- You must have been divorced from this ex-spouse for at least 2 years before you can apply for the benefits.
- You have not remarried before you turn age 60.
- If you remarry before age 60, you will still qualify for the survivors benefit if your subsequent spouse dies or ends your marriage in divorce before you apply for the survivors benefit.
- Your benefits as an ex-spouse do not change or affect on what children or new spouse (with your ex) could obtain.
- As an ex-spouse, you can start collecting spousal benefits before the working spouse has begun taking his/her benefits.
- If you remarry before age 60, you get to choose the better Social Security spousal benefits. You can compare your benefits under the ex-spouse rules and the current spouse rules and then pick the best.
For more information, check out the Social Security website.