Can a divorced spouse draw on his or her ex-spouse’s record?

Usually, yes.

If you are divorced, you may be eligible for retirement benefits based on your ex-spouse’s Social Security record, if he or she gets Social Security or is deceased. However, you will need to meet certain conditions: For retirement benefit where your spouse survives, your marriage must have lasted ten years or more; you must usually be currently unmarried; and you must be at least age 62 or older. If your spouse is deceased, the requirements vary. In that case, you can start collecting benefits at age 60, or at 50 if you become disabled. You may also be able to get benefits on his or her record, even if you were married less than ten years, if you are now unmarried; or, if you are caring for your deceased spouse’s child, who is under 16 or disabled, and is also your natural or adopted child. Some people choose to receive Social Security benefits on their ex-spouse’s record, if those benefits are higher than their own. To find out if you qualify, and what the amount might be, visit the nearest Social Security office. Or, call their toll-free number, at 1-800-772-1213.