There are certain SSA benefits available such as divorced spousal benefits if an ex-spouse is deceased. Is there any way to find out for certain if an ex-spouse IS deceased? I doubt if the SSA would tell the other ex-spouse; and many ex-spouses have no further contact with each other, for obvious reasons.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is generally notified when someone dies, either from funeral homes or via state death registries. SSA can tell a person if their ex-spouse is deceased, but SSA often has no way of knowing a person's marital history. As a result, if someone thinks that they might qualify for either divorced spousal or surviving divorced spousal benefits they should take it upon themselves to check it out with Social Security.