TN 16 (11-93)

RS 00202.005 Divorced Spouse

A. Policy — general

A divorced spouse must:

  • be finally divorced from the NH; and

  • have been married (as defined in RS 00202.001A.1.) to him or her for a period of at least 10 years (for benefits prior to 1/79, the requirement was 20 years) immediately before the date the divorce became final. For benefits payable prior to 1/1/91, the 10-year duration must be based on a legal or putative marriage. However, after 12/31/90, credit can be given for a deemed marriage towards the 10-year period.

This requirement is met if the divorce became final on or after the 10th anniversary of the marriage. This is so even if this period was interrupted by a prior divorce, provided the remarriage took place no later than the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of the divorce. Even when this requirement was not met with respect to the claimant's last divorce, she or he may qualify based on a 10-year period of marriage immediately before a prior divorce.

EXAMPLE: Robert, who married Lois on 5/6/80, was divorced 5/2/86. On 7/7/87, they remarried but were again divorced 9/5/90. The 10-year requirement is met. However, if Robert and Lois had remarried in 1988 instead of 1987 and were divorced again on 9/5/90, the 10-year requirement could not be met. The marriage must be in existence in each of the 10 years before the final divorce in order for the claimant to be entitled.

B. Policy — entitlement requirements

1. Divorced spouse

To be entitled to benefits as a divorced spouse, a claimant must:

  • be the divorced spouse (see RS 00202.005A) of an NH entitled to a RIB or DIB (unless the NH is only transitionally insured - see RS 00202.015A.2.);

  • file an application for benefits (see SM 03020.040 for when the system converts a spouse who is full retirement age and who was married to the NH for at least 10 years to benefits as a divorced spouse, and see GN 00201.005 for when an application is required for Title II re-entitlement to benefits);

  • attain age 62;

  • not be married; and

  • not be entitled to an RIB or DIB based on a PIA which equals or exceeds one-half the PIA of the worker.

2. Independently — entitled divorced spouse

An independently entitled divorced spouse must:

  • be the divorced spouse (see RS 00202.005A) of a fully insured worker age 62 (the NH must be 62 throughout the first month of entitlement but need not have filed a claim for benefits);

  • meet other requirements above; and

  • be finally divorced from the NH for at least 2 continuous years. The term “year” signifies a continuous 12-month period. A “year” means a period ending with the day of the succeeding year numerically corresponding to the day of its beginning, less one day. The day of the divorce is counted as the beginning point in determining the 2-year duration-of-divorce time period. For more information, see RS 00202.100.

EXAMPLES:

Date of divorce

Dates of 2 continuous years after the divorce

Benefits payable if claimant meets all entitlement factors

08/13/2010

08/13/2010 – 08/12/2012

09/2012

08/01/2010

08/01/2010 – 07/31/2012

08/2012

08/02/2010

08/02/2010 – 08/01/2012

09/2012

NOTE: No benefits are payable under this provision prior to January 1985.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300202005