§ 255. Benefits for the Divorced Spouse of an Old-Age or Disability Benefits Recipient


Benefits are available to the former spouse of an insured worker who is entitled to disability or old-age benefits. Such former spouse must have been divorced after 10 years or more of marriage. The requirements that apply to spouse benefits generally apply to benefits for a divorced spouse, with a few exceptions. The three most important exceptions are: 1) such benefits are available even though the worker on whose account they rest has not yet applied for old-age benefits so long as the worker would be entitled to such benefits upon application, 2) the divorced spouse's benefits are not affected by excess earnings received by the worker, and 3) benefits to a divorced spouse are, except in the case of mother or father benefits, paid outside the family maximum. However, the Social Security Act requires that a divorced spouse have been divorced for at least 2 years before he or she can take advantage of the first two exceptions. That requirement does not apply in cases where the divorce follows the worker's entitlement to old-age insurance (retirement) benefits.


  • Related Sections:
    • Part 1
      § 250. Benefits for the Spouse of an Old-Age or Disability Benefits Recipient - Entitlement
      § 251. Benefits for the Spouse of an Old-Age or Disability Benefits Recipient - Amount
      § 252. Benefits for the Spouse of an Old-Age or Disability Benefits Recipient - Relationship to Prior or Subsequent Benefits Received by the Individual
      § 253. Benefits for the Spouse of an Old-Age or Disability Benefits Recipient - How Affected by Benefits Received by Others
      § 605. Social Security Benefit Calculation - Effect on Benefits of Continuing Earned Income
      § 606. Social Security Benefit Calculation - Effect on Benefits of Benefits Being Received by Others
    • Part 2
      § A 600. Proof of Age
      § H 000. Entitlement as Spouse - In General
      § H 100. Spouse Issues - Marital Status - State Law - In General
      § H 200. Spouse Issues - Marital Status - Marriage Deemed Valid Under Social Security Act, Not Under State Law - In General
      § H 300. Competing Spouse Claims
      § H 400. Entitlement as Divorced Spouse - In General
      § H 410. Entitlement as Divorced Spouse - Duration of Marriage Prior to Divorce
      § H 800. Effect of Remarriage on Spouse Benefit Entitlement
      § M 300. Application of the Family Maximum When There Are Numerous Family Benefit Claimants