A former spouse can receive benefits under the same circumstances as a current spouse or widow/widower if the marriage lasted 10 years or more. Benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse will not affect the benefit rates for other beneficiaries. Please note that in general, a person applying as a widow/widower cannot receive benefits if they remarry before the age of 60 (50 if disabled) unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment. However, remarriage after age 60 (50 if disabled) will not prevent payments on a former spouse's record.
For more information, you may call our toll-free number (1-800-772-1213), or see our publication "Survivors Benefits " Publication No. 05-10084. Our representatives there will be glad to help you.