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A woman who was married for more than 10 years (IIRC) is entitled to her husband's SS when he dies.

I think that the divorced spouse is actually entitled to spousal benefits even before the ex dies. But the amount while the ex is still alive is less - I think the general rule is that spousal benefits are half the ex's benefits, while survivor benefits after the ex dies are much closer to the full amount the ex was getting.

So your sibling won't have to be penniless while waiting for the ex to die. :)

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