The most common example of using a restricted application was when, before the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a spouse would be allowed to file for just the spousal benefit but not their own retirement benefit and delay filing for their retirement benefit, often until 70, thus “restricting” the application for benefits to just one instead of the benefits. This option is no longer available, but an ex spouse is still able to file for their spousal benefit based on the ex’s earnings. So in that specific case, a restricted application is still possible.

Divorced individuals can file for a divorced spousal benefit regardless of whether their ex has filed for their retirement benefit as long as both are at least 62 and have been divorced for at least two years. The two year requirement does not apply if the ex has filed for their retirement benefit.

Learn More: How do I model a restricted application?