Sunday, May 19, 2024

Can My Ex Wife Get My Social Security Disability

Don't Miss

Va Benefits & Disability Income

ð´How Much Social Security Does an ex Spouse Get if Divorced?

We must tread cautiously in defining our terms. Veterans Affairs benefits, such as disability income, are, according to the American Bar Association, not subject to levy, seizure or attachment. Your go-to legalese on this is United States Code Title 38 Part IV Chapter 53, casually known by readers of these things as 38 U.S.C. §5301, which prevents your disability income from being taken by creditors. Your ex-wife is not a creditor. And your disability benefit is income. So she can be awarded a chunk of your VA benefits in spousal support.

Receiving Social Security Through Ex

The SSA allows divorced spouses to collect Social Security Disability benefits through their spouses benefits. This usually happens when a spouse who does not work, such as a stay-at-home parent or a homemaker, wants to receive benefits. The rules are quite similar for both the typical Social Security retirement benefits that many Americans receive and the disability benefits our attorneys can help with.

The benefits that a spouse receives through their working spouses benefits are usually halved. The working spouse will still be able to take their full benefits, but the non-working spouse only receives half of what they would otherwise receive. The amounts might also be reduced based on your age. For disability benefits, you will receive the full half of your spouses benefits if you start taking disability benefits at your full retirement age, but they may be reduced to lower than half if you start taking the benefits earlier.

These rules are similar for ex-spouses. You are eligible to receive benefits through your former spouses Social Security Disability benefits as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • You are not re-married
  • You are 62 years-old or older
  • Your former spouse is entitled to Social Security Disability
  • Your own work history will entitle you to less benefits than your ex-spouses work history

Eligibility For Surviving Ex

If you pass away, the requirement for your ex-wife to get Social Security survivors benefits has a few differences. She generally had to be married to you for 10 years before the divorce to qualify and has to be at least 60 years old . Her disability must meet the SSAs adult definition of disability and occurred before or within seven years of your death. If she remarries after she has reached the eligible age of 60 , she can still receive benefits.

Don’t Miss: Ibs Military Disability

Eligibility For Divorced Spouse’s Survivors Benefit

If your ex-husband or wife has died but was collecting or entitled to collect SSDI disability benefits at death, you may be able to collect a survivor’s benefit. A surviving divorced spouse is entitled to SSDI benefits in the following circumstances:

  • The surviving divorced spouse is 60 years old or older.
  • The surviving divorced spouse is disabled and between 50 and 60.
  • The surviving divorced spouse is eligible for the mother’s or father’s benefit .

If a surviving divorced spouse gets remarried before age 60, Social Security benefits will be denied . After age 60 , the Social Security Administration will ignore the marriage and continue to pay SSDI benefits.

How Does Divorce Affect Your Social Security Benefits

Can I Get Social Security Benefits from My Ex

Its important to understand your projected social security benefits so you can incorporate that into your divorce financial planning.

You should be sure to obtain a social security benefit statement early on to begin preparing for divorce.

If your marriage lasted at least 10 years, you can collect on your ex-spouses record if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are unmarried
  • You are age 62 or older
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouses work.

If you meet these requirements, you can first become entitled to receive full or unreduced benefits when you reach full retirement age.

Full retirement age will vary based on what year you were born, but in all cases, you must be at least 62 years old to receive benefits.

At full retirement age, the highest benefit you can receive for an ex-spouses record is 50%.

You May Like: How To Get 100 Percent Va Disability

Your Spouse Is Entitled To A Social Security Spousal Benefit If He Or She Is Over 62 Or Cares For Your Child Who Is Disabled Or Under 16

By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author

If you are collecting, or eligible for, Social Security disability benefits, your spouse may be able to get dependents benefits, depending on his or her age and whether you have minor children. The spouse’s benefit is available only for recipients of SSDI , not SSI.

Eligibility For Divorced Spouse’s Benefits

If your ex-spouse became disabled, either before, during, or after the marriage, and he or she earned enough Social Security credits to be entitled to SSDI, as a divorced spouse, you are benefits if you fit into either of these categories:

  • You, the divorced spouse, are 62 years old or older and were married to the disabled worker for at least ten years.
  • You, the divorced spouse, care for your ex-spouse’s child or children, who are under age 16 or disabled. Note that if the disabled child is over age 22, the child must have been disabled since before age 22. This is sometimes called the mother’s or father’s benefit.

If you remarry, your auxiliary benefits will end. In addition, if you become eligible to receive Social Security benefits on your own record, and the amount you are eligible for is higher than your auxiliary benefit, your auxiliary SSDI benefit will end.

Don’t Miss: How Much Is 90 Va Disability

How Much Will My Spouse Receive

If your spouse qualifies for benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

If they begin receiving benefits:

If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government employment, the amount of their Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced.

at any age

Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

Ease The Stress And Avoid Mistakes With An Attorneys Help

When Can My Spouse Collect Social Security Benefits?

Weve only covered the basics of this complex area of Social Security law. Everyones circumstances are different and will directly affect eligibility and even the strategy taken with a claim.

If your ex-spouse or spouse has passed away, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible so you understand whether you qualify for disability benefits, as either a widow or widower or as a surviving divorced spouse.

Your initial legal consultation is free and will be highly informative. We can help with your initial application or take your case to appeal a denied claim. We will discuss any questions you have and provide insights into many concerns not addressed here. Call today.

About Marc Whitehead

Recommended Reading: How To File For Disability In Missouri

Spouses Married For At Least A Year Divorced Spouses Who Were Married At Least 10 Years And Surviving Spouses Can Be Entitled To Benefits

By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

Workers who have a long-term disability and have earned sufficient Social Security credits are often entitled to a monthly Social Security disability benefits, and sometimes their spouses are entitled to collect a monthly spouse’s benefit as well. Spouses married for at least a year, divorced spouses who were married at least 10 years, and surviving spouses can be entitled to benefits based on the earnings record of the disabled spouse .

How Do I Apply For Widow Or Surviving Divorced Spouse Disability Benefits

To file a disability claim for widow or widowers Disability Benefits, or Surviving Divorced Spouse Disability Benefits, the SSA will need information to prove your eligibility, such as:

  • Your name and Social Security Number
  • The deceaseds name and Social Security Number
  • Proof of your late spouses death
  • Your birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Final divorce papers if applying for disabled surviving divorced spouse benefits
  • Your marriage certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
  • Dependent childrens Social Security numbers, if available, and birth certificates
  • Your banking information

Read Also: How Much Does Ca State Disability Pay

Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorney

If you are divorced and wish to receive Social Security Disability benefits through your ex-husband or ex-wife, talk to an attorney. The system to apply for Social Security Disability benefits is difficult enough to apply for yourself. Applying through a spouse especially a former spouse adds extra steps that make the system more difficult. Social Security Disability attorney Ken Kieklak may be able to help you apply and fight Social Security denials on your behalf. Call 316-0438 today for a free consultation on your case.

Popular Articles

Benefits For Your Spouse

Does My Ex Husband Have to Be 62 Before I Can File Social ...

Benefits are payable to your spouse:

  • Age 62 or older, unless your spouse collects a higher Social Security benefit based on their earnings record. The benefit amount for your spouse is permanently reduced by a percentage, based on the number of months up to their full retirement age.
  • At any age if they are caring for your child under age 16 or who was disabled before age 22, and is entitled to benefits.

Read Also: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay

Benefit Amounts For Ex

The SSA pays the same amount in benefits to your ex-wife as a current wife would get. She would get one-half of your Social Security disability and retirement benefits. Her retirement benefits are permanently reduced if she gets them before reaching full retirement age, which is based on her year of birth.

Her survivors benefits are determined differently. The SSA would pay her 100 percent of your entitled benefit amount in survivors benefits if she is at full retirement age. Full retirement age for retirement and survivors benefits are different, though. If she is between age 60 and full retirement age, she gets 71.5 to 99 percent of your entitled benefit. She can get 71.5 percent if she is between 50 and 59 and disabled. If shes taking care of your minor or disabled children, she gets 75 percent.

Im Divorced Can I Get My Exs Social Security

Q. I was married for 30 years. We divorced three years ago. Neither of us have remarried. I got sick with cancer and went on Social Security disability. Im 61. At 62 I want to retire. Can I get half of his Social Security?


A. Were sorry to hear about your illness.

A former spouse is generally entitled to collect Social Security retirement benefits based on the earning history of his or her ex-spouse.

The amount a former spouse can collect is equivalent to, at most, one-half of their former spouses retirement benefit, said Thomas Roberto, a family law attorney with Adinolfi, Lieberman, Burick, Falkenstein, Roberto & Molotsky in Haddonfield.

He said In order to collect benefits based on a former spouses record, the following criteria must be met: the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years the applicant has not remarried the applicant is at least 62 years old and the former spouse of the applicant is eligible to receive Social Security benefits even if he or she is not actually collecting the parties have been divorced for at least two consecutive years.

If these conditions are met, then it should be possible to collect based on a former spouses earning history, Roberto said. The amount of benefits the applicant receives would have no impact on the amount of benefits the former spouse is entitled to receive.

Email your questions to .

You May Like: How Much Is The Average Disability Check

About The Author: Michelle Buonincontri

Michelle Buonincontri, CFP®, CDFA®, is a divorce financial strategist, personal finance coach and mediator. She is the founder of Being Mindful in Divorce and New Direction Financial Strategies LLC, as well as an avid volunteer at Savvy Ladies in NY and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation in Phoenix, and she works closely with the AZ National Guard. You can email her at .

In Some Circumstances The Answer Is Yes

How do Spousal Benefits affect my Social Security?

Per the Social Security Administration If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, YOU CAN receive benefits on your ex-spouses record if:

  • You are unmarried
  • You are age 62 or older
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouses work

Additionally, your former spouse doesnt have to be collecting their retirement benefits yet for you to claim ex-spousal benefits. However, if this is the case, the divorce must be at least two years old.

The most you can collect in divorced-spouse benefits is 50 percent of your former spouses primary amount the monthly payment he or she is entitled to at full retirement age . You can get that maximum if you file for benefits when you reach full retirement age, if you claim earlier, the benefit amount is reduced.

The earliest you can apply is three months before your sixty-second birthday. You may need to provide documents to show eligibility, including proof of U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status, a marriage certificate, and a divorce decree.

**If you are already receiving retirement benefits on your own, you can also claim any ex-spousal benefits that you are eligible for, but Social Security will not pay you both combined. Youll receive whichever amount is higher and no more.

Also Check: How Much Does Disability Pay In California

Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Supplemental Security Income helps people who are unable to earn sufficient wages on their own. It is available to adults with disabilities, children with disabilities and people 65 or older. Individuals with enough work history may be eligible to receive SSI in addition to disability or retirement benefits. The amount individuals receive varies based on their other sources of income and where they live.

Amount Of Spousal Benefit

Your spouse is entitled to up to 50% of your monthly benefit amount, subject to a family maximum amount.

If your spouse has his or her own qualifying earnings record with Social Security, the SSA will pay that benefit amount first. However, if the amount that your spouse is entitled to based on your record is higher, the SSA will combine the benefits to make sure that your spouse receives the higher amount.

If your spouse begins to collect the spouse’s benefit between age 62 and his or her full retirement age, the monthly benefit amount will be permanently reduced. The Social Security Administration calculates the reduction amount using a formula based on the number of months from when benefits began until full retirement age.

Read Also: Does Universal Studios Have A Disability Pass

Benefits For Your Children

When you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must:

Benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary school at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.

Benefits paid for your child will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.

How Much Can I Receive

Can a divorced woman collect Social Security from her ex ...

You can receive up to 50% of the amount your former spouse would receive in benefits at their full retirement age . This amount is not in addition to your own benefit and again, your benefit has to be lower than half of your exs benefit in order for you to apply. In other words, if your monthly Social Security check would be $1,000, and your exs benefit would be $1,500, you would not be eligible for former spousal benefits .

When applying for Social Security on your own record, your timing affects the amount you receive. That is also the case when applying on your former spouses record. You can begin receiving benefits when you turn 62, but since youd be applying for benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits would be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months until your full retirement age. To get the full 50% of your exs benefit, you must wait until your full retirement age, but waiting beyond that age wont get you any additional money like it does when applying on your own record.

A few more details:

And if, like Elizabeth Taylor, you have been married more than once, you can choose which spouses benefits you want to collect on.

You May Like: How To Change Va Disability Direct Deposit

More articles

Popular Articles