Can a Divorced Massachusetts Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Divorce |

Suppose that two people are married for over 10 years, then divorced and the wife remarries. Then, her new husband dies after several years of marriage. Is she eligible to claim against the first husband’s benefits?”

The rules surrounding survivors benefits

The quick answer is that she is eligible to receive benefits, but there are many conditions associated with the eligibility of divorced spouses. As long as the original marriage lasted for 10 years and she is unmarried, she is eligible for Social Security benefits based on the record of her first partner. These include survivors benefits.

On the other hand, if the second marriage had taken place before the age of 60 and the new husband had not passed away or the second marriage had not ended in divorce or annulment, then she would be ineligible for these benefits. If the second marriage took place after age 60, then she would be eligible for benefits even if she is still married.

The general rule for a spouse is that the primary beneficiary must claim benefits before a spouse can claim spousal benefits. A primary beneficiary cannot claim benefits before age 62. If a divorced spouse is eligible for benefits under the above conditions, she or he does not have to wait for the ex to claim — spousal benefits can be claimed once the ex has reached age 62.

Set Up A Free Initial Consultation