In the event of your and your spouse’s divorce, you may be expected to fairly split up your marital property. With this, you may be unsure as to whether your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits fall under this umbrella. What’s more, you may be unsure as to whether you may be expected to make alimony payments on top of sharing your SSDI benefits. Continue reading to learn the chances of an alimony order when you are on SSDI benefits and how an experienced New Jersey SSDI benefits lawyer at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can help you properly prepare.

Can I be ordered to pay alimony if I am on SSDI benefits?

The short answer is, yes, you may be ordered to make alimony payments to your former spouse even if you are currently receiving SSDI benefits. This is because, as you may already know, your SSDI benefits are awarded based on your individual work history. Therefore, the court may find that it has little to no relevance to need-based alimony payments to your former spouse.

That said, you must keep up with your alimony payments. This is because, if you do not, then the court may order your SSDI payments to be garnished to pay off your order. More specifically, the court may order up to 60 percent of your SSDI benefits to be sent directly to your former spouse. And if you are behind by 12 weeks or more, then the court may increase this garnishment to 65 percent.

On the other hand, if you have been ordered to receive alimony from your former spouse, then your SSDI payments may not be affected. However, the same may not go for Social Security Income (SSI) benefits.

Can my former spouse collect my SSDI benefits when I pass on?

First of all, if your former spouse received dependents benefits through the SSDI program while you were married, then they may continue to receive these benefits after your divorce. But their receiving of benefits on your record may discontinue if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • Your former spouse is entitled to a larger amount of benefits under their individual work history.
  • You and your former spouse were only married for 10 years or less.
  • Your former spouse is 62 years old or younger.
  • Your former spouse decides to remarry.

Additionally, when you, unfortunately, pass on, your former spouse may still receive survivor benefits. This is so long as they meet similar criteria as mentioned above.

So no matter what your specific case may be, you must not question your instinct to retain the services of a skilled New Jersey SSDI benefits lawyer. Our team at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur will work to determine what legal option is in your best interest.