Many factors affect a person’s disability benefits. This can include a person’s income, financial resources, employment history, and even their marriage. Today’s blog question came to us through our interactive disability forum and deals with divorce and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you have a question you’d like us to answer, leave it in the comment section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. Today’s question is:
I am receiving SSDI benefits. Will getting divorced affect my payments?
If you receive SSDI benefits based on your own earning’s record, your benefit will not be affected by divorce. If, however, you are ordered to pay child support or alimony, a portion of your benefit may be garnished to fulfill those responsibilities.
If you are receiving SSDI auxiliary benefits, there are different ways in which your payments could be affected by divorce. These are explained below:
Spousal Benefits- If you were receiving spousal benefits while you were married, your payments will not be affected unless you were married for less than ten years, you get remarried, or you become eligible to receive a larger Social Security payment under your own record.
Divorced Spousal Benefits-If your ex-spouse qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance, you may be eligible to receive divorced spouse’s benefits. This is the case if:
- You were married to the person for over ten years;
- You are at least 62 years old;
- You are currently unmarried; and
- You are not eligible for a larger Social Security payment on your own record.
Survivor’s Benefits- If your ex-spouse is deceased you may be eligible to receive auxiliary benefits on his or her record. To do so, you must meet the following requirements:
- You were married to your ex-husband or wife for at least ten years;
- You are at least 50 years old and disabled or over 60;
- You have not remarried; and
- You are not eligible to receive a larger Social Security payment on your own record.
Parental Benefits- If you are caring for an ex-spouse’s child and he or she is younger than 16 or disabled, you may be eligible to receive auxiliary benefits. These will not be affected by divorce or remarriage. These benefits will continue to be paid until your child becomes ineligible.
If you plan to get divorced, it is important that you contact the Social Security Administration and let them know about the changes in your life. This will allow them to make any necessary adjustments and will prevent any unnecessary complications.
Note that this article is only directed toward those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be affected differently.