Social Security benefits extend to spouses, and in some circumstances, to ex-spouses.  Even if you are divorced, you may still be eligible for Social Security benefits based upon your ex-spouse’s work record.  The criteria to qualify is:

  • You must have been married at least 10 years.
  • You must be unmarried.
  • You must be 62 years or older.
  • Your ex-spouse must have filed for Social Security benefits or you must be divorced for a minimum of 2 years.

If you have more than one ex-spouse, your benefit is based on the “ex” with the highest benefit.  And If your ex-spouse qualifies for benefits but has not yet applied, you can claim benefits off their work record if you have been divorced for two years.
The reverse is also true.  Your ex-spouse could claim benefits based upon your work history, if your benefit is higher than theirs.  In this case, the rules listed above will apply to them, whether you have remarried or not.  Rest assured that this in no way impacts your benefit when you file on your own work record.