Whether your ex is still living matters a lot in the amount of benefits you'll receive.
"A lot of people don't know that there are different rules if the ex-spouse is alive or deceased," says Webb.
"When a person goes from a divorced spouse to a surviving divorced spouse, the benefit amount will increase," says Webb. The amount depends on whether you have reached full retirement age. "In general, if a surviving spouse is over full retirement age, they could generally expect to receive the payment amount of the deceased ex-spouse," he says.
In addition, if your ex-husband is still living, you must be age 62 or older to receive Social Security benefits. But if he is deceased, you may be able to start taking benefits at age 60, or age 50 if you are disabled.
If you have a child younger than 16 who also belonged to your ex who is retired or deceased, you may receive benefits for the child until he or she reaches age 16. If you have a disabled child, the age limit does not apply.
You do not have to meet the minimum requirement of 10 years of marriage for your child to receive benefits. "The benefit amounts are a little different, depending on the age of the ex-spouse (the one applying for mother's/father's benefits) and whether or not the worker is alive or deceased," says Webb. "This can get awfully complicated, so we advise talking to us directly."