1) The date of action is when you receive a copy of court approved divorce decree. Or even better, October 27, 2016.
2) You may not want to apply but walk into a regional, local SSA office to make inquiry.
The reason why I say this is because if you are not at full retirement age, your benefit could be discounted.
Hopefully, your current divorce will get you some good assets to live for a while.
Then, it is possible for you to wait for your full retirement age to get a larger, full amount.
3) More importantly, because your deceased spouse was in the military, you are likely qualify under his pension. You need to make that inquiry first. That one should not have a full retirement age limitation. Go and get that inquiry done first. Pension may or may not offset your social security survival benefit. But pension can make your total package larger.
It is like sailing both boats at the same time. Do both.
4) The SSA should have the death information on your first deceased spouse. They will let you know what documents you will need.
5) For now, the most important thing is to make sure you get a "good" divorce. Can you get more money? Half of his retirement, half of his business ownership of his shares, if he has pension to come, half of his pension, half of his investment account, etc. Can you ask for maintenance, alimony until your retirement age? Think, think, think. This is your focus until October 26.
6) You may be able to go on your current husband's SS when waiting for your first deceased spouse's SS at your full retirement age. That is worthwhile to obtain information when you go to the SSA.
Enclosed publication website link is for your further reference.
Please feel free to follow up.
Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP