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US Government Information/Divorced Spouse retirement benefits


Hi Darlene,

I was married for 15 years to an American (I am originally from South Africa, but have lived in Israel for 38 years),  and have been divorced form him for 19 years. We married and divorced here in Israel.

I would like to retire, and to claim benefits, but do not have access to our marriage certificate or his Social Security Number. I have the divorce papers--ie the Jewish Get. I don't remember if the date of our marriage is printed on there or not.

Please can you help.
With all thanks and best wishes,

If the divorce decree shown your marriage date, the marriage certificate will not be needed.  You should  be able to obtain a marriage certificate certified by the custodian of the marriage record in Israel.

If you are not a citizen of Israel, and living in Israel, you will not qualify for benefits if you did not live at least 5 years in the U.S. while married to your ex-spouse.

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Darlene Oldendick


Social Security retirement planning and all questions about Social Security eligibility and entitlement.


Worked for the Social Security Administration for 33 years


33 years employment with the Social Security Administration

Awards and Honors
Many outstanding performance awards while employed at the Social Security Administration

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