Monthly Social Security benefits are determined on average monthly earnings over 35 years. When a benefit application is filed, the Social Security Administration indexes lifetime earnings to bring them up to date. The highest 35 years of earnings are selected and averaged to determine the monthly benefit. If a worker has more than 35 years of earnings, excess lower-earning years are disregarded. If the worker has fewer than 35 years of earnings, some zero income years are included in the calculation.
As long as your marriage lasted 10 consecutive years and you are still unmarried, you can qualify for a divorced spouse’s benefit on your former husband’s record at any time after reaching age 62. The fact that your husband hasn’t started receiving Social Security benefits doesn’t matter if he is at least age 62 and your divorce has been final for at least two years.