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Jonathan Tierney
Jonathan Tierney, Certified Public Accountant
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 322
Experience:  Tax Accountant at Praxair, Inc.
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As a divorced spouse who had been married 11 years, how does

Customer Question

As a divorced spouse who had been married 11 years, how long does one have to be married to collect divorced wife's benefits?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Jonathan Tierney replied 2 years ago.

According to Social Security Administration website at:

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if he or she has remarried) if:

You only have to be married ten years to collect benefits as a divorced spouse. However, there are other qualifications that could lead to your denial such as remarrying, not being at least 62, and your ex-spouse would also have to qualify for Social Security benefits. Some workers such as public school teachers, railroad workers, federal government, and certain state and municipal workers do not pay into Social Security but instead receive a pension from a different entity.

I hope this answers your question. If not, I'll need some additional information: Where did your husband work? How old is your husband? Did Social Security give you a reason for the denial? Are you applying for retirement or disability benefits?

Let me know if you need any additional information. Jonathan

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.