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    Can I Qualify for Social Security Disability Based on a Former Spouse’s Work Record?

    By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on November 11, 2013 | In Social Security Disability

    In many families, one spouse has worked for many years while the other has stayed home, raising the children, taking care of the house, and participating in vital volunteer and community projects. While the “non-working” spouse may not have traded labor in exchange for a paycheck, he or she has provided valuable work in many areas of life.

    Most Americans know that Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are generally available if the working spouse becomes disabled and is no longer able to perform work. But fewer people realize that the non-working spouse may also qualify for benefits based on the working spouse’s work record – even if the spouses are divorced when one of them becomes disabled. An experienced southern California Social Security disability benefits attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for benefits based on an ex-spouse’s work record and can help you get the benefits to which you are entitled.

    To qualify for SSD family benefits based on a former spouse’s work record:

    • You and your spouse must have been married for at least 10 years,
    • You must not have gotten remarried,
    • The benefit that you would receive based on an ex-spouse’s work record is more than the benefit you would receive based on your own work record,
    • Your spouse meets the work requirements necessary to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, and
    • You qualify as “disabled” according to the Social Security Administration’s rules.

    Getting benefits based on an ex-spouse’s work record is not always easy. For instance, gaining access to a former spouse’s work record, often vital for establishing your right to benefits, can be difficult due to privacy rules. Your attorney can help you navigate this bureaucracy and secure the benefits you need.

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