If you have recently undergone a significant life change, you may wonder how this may influence your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, if at all. More specifically, if you recently got married or left your marriage, you may worry about your SSDI benefits being lowered or altogether taken away by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Continue reading to learn how the state of your marriage may affect your benefits and how one of the experienced attorneys of SSDI eligibility in New Jersey, at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur, can walk you through this.
Does marriage influence my SSDI benefits?
The short answer is that marriage does not automatically terminate your SSDI benefits. The explanation is that the SSA determines your eligibility for benefits by looking at your personal income and your work history. What’s more, your benefits are essentially funded through your past employment. So, your marital status and your spouse’s financial status do not have an influence on the SSA’s decision.
Actually, your spouse may even be qualified to receive spousal SSDI benefits. This is similar to them receiving spousal retirement benefits. With this, the SSA will look at your spouse’s age, the amount of benefits that you receive, and the duration of your marriage.
With all that being said, you should not refrain from getting married simply out of fear that you may lose these benefits.
What happens to my SSDI benefits if I get a divorce?
Simply put, in the event of a divorce, your former spouse may still be eligible to collect spousal SSDI benefits from you. Specifically, the SSA will look at the following to determine your former spouse’s qualification to do so:
- Whether your former spouse is at least 62 years old.
- Whether your former spouse has not yet remarried.
- Whether you and your former spouse were married for at least 10 years.
- Whether your SSDI benefits total greater than that of your former spouse.
Further, your former spouse may be able to collect spousal SSDI benefits from you while collecting their own benefits. The SSA will look at both your and your spouse’s personal income and work history. And if your former spouse is earning less than you, they may receive their own benefits in addition to receiving the difference from your benefits. Rest assured, the SSA will make certain that your former spouse is not earning more than they are entitled to after your divorce.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, there may be some exceptions to these given guidelines. All in all, this process can be made easier with the sound legal advisement of a skilled New Jersey SSDI attorney. Contact our firm as soon as you possibly can.