Understanding Spousal Security Disability Benefits

in General

You may be eligible for SSDI, but what about your family? Could your spouse, or even an ex-spouse, receive partial benefits? Depending on your situation, your husband or wife may be eligible. See the qualifications for SSDI spousal benefits and learn how much they can collect.

If you have been married for over a year and your spouse is 62 or older, then he or she is eligible for benefits. Should your husband or wife meet these qualifications, then they may be able to earn up to 50% of the same benefits you receive. These aren’t benefits taken from you, but a separate check that your spouse will be able to claim as their own. However, if your spouse can receive a higher benefit based on their own qualifications, then they will not be able to receive spousal benefits.

Note that the rules of spousal benefits are different if you both care for a child under 16 or a disabled child. For further details, we’re more than happy to get in touch with you.

When Benefits Start and End
Again, benefits can begin as soon as the couple has been married for a year. Should you and your spouse divorce, or divorce and remarry, benefits may end depending on the following conditions:

  • Former Spouses
    In the event of a divorce, your spouse may still be entitled to spousal SSDI. If the marriage lasted at least ten years and your ex still meets the qualifications, they will continue to receive benefits. Again, they must be at least 62 years old and cannot receive benefits of their own that are equal or higher than yours.
  • Survivor Benefits
    At the end of life, you can make sure your loved one is in good hands. If a person is married for at least a year and their spouse is over 60, or disabled and between 50-60, then they can receive benefits after their spouse has passed on. These benefits, sometimes called widower’s benefits, continue unless the spouse qualifies for a higher SSDI or remarries before 60 (or before 50 if they are disabled). Similar rules apply to surviving divorced spouses.

To apply for spousal benefits, you will need to contact the SSA. Ladas & Hoopes can help walk you through the process of applying for SSDI or answer questions on your qualifications for spousal benefits. You can reach us at 231-744-6218.