Social Security ex-spousal survivor benefits

You may be eligible for divorced widow(er)’s insurance benefits if you were married to your deceased ex-spouse for at least 10 years. You must also be age 60 or over, or at least age 50 but under 60 and meet the disability requirements as defined by Social Security.

Your deceased ex-spouse must also have been entitled to benefits. You must be single, and you must not be entitled to a retirement insurance benefit equaling or exceeding your deceased ex- spouse’s full retirement age benefit entitlement. The same rules apply to divorced widow(er)’s benefits if your deceased ex-spouse filed for benefits earlier than their FRA.

If you are eligible to file for an ex-survivor benefit, your additional benefit would equal the amount by which your ex-spouse’s benefit exceeded yours.

The Social Security Administration maintains national death records. If you have your ex’s Social Security number, you should be able to call Social Security and explain that you’d like to file for an ex-spousal survivor benefit if your ex- has, in fact, died. You may need to go into an office to actually file for this benefit and bring records of your marriage and divorce.