The Effects Marriage and Divorce Can Have On Social Security Disability Benefits

August 28, 2013

There are a plethora of factors that can affect the outcome of a claim for Social Security Disability Benefits. One of the most complex factors that can affect benefits is the institution of marriage or divorce.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) explains that after nine months of marriage, an individual’s spouse may be able to qualify for survivor benefits. These benefits are awarded to a surviving spouse after the death of their loved one to help subsidize the income the recipients household lost with their loved one’s passing.

After just one year of marriage, an individual may qualify for spousal benefits as well. These benefits allow a spouse to collect a portion of their deceased loved one’s Social Security Disability benefits. Typically, the amount is up to one half of the deceased individual’s total benefit.

On the contrary to how benefits are awarded during marriage, divorce can just as easily eliminate an individual from collecting benefits. If a divorce occurs within 10 years of marriage, a person is not qualified to collect either spousal or survivor benefits. If the divorce occurs after 10 years of marriage, an ex-spouse may still be able to collect both types of benefits.

The Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are aware of the complexities of the Social Security Disability system. That’s why the firm suggests speaking with an attorney if you’re considering applying for benefits.

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