If your former spouse qualifies for social security benefits, you may apply for benefits when your former spouse reaches age 60, even if your former spouse has not applied for the benefit for himself or herself.
Ten years is the magic number. You must have been married to the worker for 10 years before the date the divorce became final. In addition, the spouse seeking the benefit cannot have remarried. It does not matter if the working spouse has remarried.
The Social Security Administration website has very useful information. You are entitled to your divorced spouse’s insurance benefits on the worker’s Social Security record if:
A. The Worker is entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits;
B. You have filed an application for divorced spouse’s benefits;
C. You are not entitled to a retirement or disability insurance benefit based on a primary insurance amount which equals or exceeds one-half the worker’s primary insurance amount;
D. You are age 62 or over;
E. You are not married; and
F. You were married to the worker for 10 years before the date the divorce became final.