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Women and Social Security
When Your Marital Status Change!

If you are divorced, widowed or remarried you may be able to receive Social Security benefits from your ex-husband. Social Security benefits are determined by a number of reasons and payable through different resources.

Whenever you change the name you use in employment, whether because of marriage, divorce or other reasons, be sure to report the change to your local Social Security Administration Office.

If you are divorced, you can receive benefits on your ex-husband's Social Security record:

  • If he is receiving Social Security.
  • If you are presently unmarried.
  • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
  • You are age 62 or older.
  • You are not entitled to an increase in benefits on your own record which exceeds one-half of your ex-husband's unreduced benefits.

If your ex-husband has not applied for benefits, but can qualify for them and is age 62 or older, you can receive benefits on his record if you have been divorced from him for at least two years and meet the requirements.

If you are widowed, you can receive widow's benefits if:

  • You are age 60 or older.
  • If you're disabled, you can receive benefits as early as age 50 or older.
  • If you are a widow with children, you may be eligible for a widow's benefit at any age when you are caring for a child who is under age 16 or disabled and entitled to benefits.
  • As a widow, you also may be eligible for Medicare.

If you've remarried:

  • If you remarry after you reach age 60, you will continue to receive benefits on your deceased husband's Social Security Record.
  • If you remarry before reaching age 60, you cannot receive widow's benefits as long as that marriage remains in effect.

For more information on Social Security benefits, contact your local Social Security Administration Office or visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

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