Experts at AARP and the Social Security Administration provide this information:
- If you are age 62-plus, were married 10 years or more, and are currently unmarried (and you are not entitled to receive a higher benefit based on your own work), you can receive benefits based on your ex's earnings, even if he or she remarried.
- If you both worked, the lower earner may receive benefits based on the higher earner's work.
- If you never worked, you can collect benefits on your ex's work, and your ex is still eligible to collect what he or she has earned over the years.
- If your ex hasn't yet applied, but qualifies for benefits, you can still receive benefits if you have been divorced for two years.
- You can collect a divorced spouse's benefits without reducing the amount of your ex's benefit.
- The longer you wait to collect divorced spousal benefits, up to your full retirement age, the higher your benefit will be.