If you were in a marriage for a long time, and then things didn’t work out, it is likely that your ex-spouse took you out of his or her will. One thing you may not be aware of, however, is that even if you were divorced, you may still be entitled to receive some of your ex-spouse’s social security benefits in the event of his or her passing.

Requirements to get the benefits

 The American Association of Retired Persons points out that there is a provision for social security known as survivor benefits that applies to anyone who is either 60 years old or older, to anyone who is caring for a disabled child who became disabled before the age of 22 or to anyone caring for a child under 16 years of age. However, if you wish to be considered to receive survivor benefits, your marriage must have lasted at least ten years. You also cannot have remarried unless you waited until after turning 60 to do so.

How it works

 If your late ex-spouse remarried, his or her widow will still receive a portion of his or her social security benefits. If you meet the above conditions, you, too, are entitled to some benefits.

If you have already claimed your own social security benefits, and you have also claimed survivor benefits, you will be paid whichever is the higher of the two. You are entitled to receive up to 100 percent of the benefits your ex-spouse was receiving when he or she died, depending on the circumstances.

This article is meant to inform and is not legal advice.