Divorce and Disability Payments

Divorce and Disability Payments

Your disability benefits can be greatly affected if you are going through a divorce. If you are receiving supplemental security income disability benefits, your benefits could improve, however, if you are receiving social security disability insurance through your spouse, the benefits could diminish. Working with a Social Security disability benefits lawyer while going through your divorce could help ensure you are able to receive the help that you need. 

SSI Disability Benefits

Your payments could increase after your divorce if you have received Supplemental Security Income disability benefits. This is because SSI is a benefit that is based on need. Your level of eligibility and how much money you should receive each month is determined based on how many resources you are able to receive, including a part of your spouse’s income and their finances towards your living expenses. It is important to note that if you are to receive alimony through your divorce, it will be considered as part of your unearned income that applies towards the SSI limit by the Social Security Administration . This will decide if they amount your receive each month will change. It is important to remember to let the agency know if you have gone through a divorce so they can recalculate the benefits you are to receive. 

SSDI from Your Work History

If, based on your work history, you have received Social Security Disability Insurance, your payments will not be changed at all by your divorce. This is because your disability payment is only related to your work history, not your spouse’s. On the other hand, if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance and have to pay child support or alimony after a divorce, some of your benefits may be used to fulfill these requirements. It depends on the types of benefits you receive if your Social Security dependents benefits will be impacted by the divorce. 

  • Spouse: If you received a spouse’s benefit during your marriage, this payment should not end when the divorce is final, unless one of the following take place:
      • Your marriage was less than ten years
      • You become remarried
      • You can receive a larger Social Security benefit based on your personal work record
  • Divorced Spouse: If you were not receiving your spouse’s benefit, you could collect dependent benefits based on your former spouse’s work record, if one of the following take place:
    • Your marriage lasted more than ten years
    • You are currently unmarried
    • You are over 62 years of age
    • You are not able to receive a larger Social Security benefit based on your personal work record

What Happens If I Remarry?

If you were receiving Social Security benefits due to your former spouse’s work history and then you get remarried, in most instances, you will no longer receive these benefits. However, if your new spouse is able to receive benefits, you could continue to receive your benefits. If you get remarried and your former spouse is receiving benefits based on your work history, your former spouse’s benefits will not change. 

It is important to speak with a social security lawyer in Memphis, TN to understand how your benefits may change following a divorce. Contact a law firm to schedule a consultation. 

Thanks to Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into social security law and divorce.