An ex-wife can receive Social Security benefits based on her ex-husband's work record if she meets certain qualifications. According to the Social Security Administration, many ex-wives receive a higher benefit based on their ex-husband's work record than their own.
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An ex-wife can receive benefits if she was married 10 years or more, has not remarried, is at least 62 years old and the benefits she receives based on her ex-husband's employment record is more than benefits under her work record. The ex-husband must also be eligible to receive Social Security retirement or disability payments. She can also receive benefits if the ex-husband is at least 62 years old, is eligible for benefits but has not applied, and has been divorced at least two years.
An ex-wife can receive benefits if her husband is deceased and she is age 60 or 50 and disabled, the marriage lasted 10 years, and her individual entitlements are less than the benefits she would receive under his work record.
The ex-wife of any age can receive benefits from a deceased ex-husband if they share a child, natural or adopted, who is younger than 16 or disabled and eligible for benefits. The ex-wife's benefits will continue until the child turns 16 or is no longer considered disabled. There is no length of marriage restriction.