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How Divorce Can Affect Disability Payments in Los Angeles

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on November 1, 2015 | In Social Security Disability

How Divorce Can Affect Disability Payments in Los Angeles

Your divorce can affect the amount of money you receive through disability benefits. This is especially true if you receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) based on your spouse’s earnings. How your divorce will affect your benefits depends on whether your benefits were based on your spouse’s record or your own Social Security work record.

If you’re currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, it’s possible your divorce will have a positive impact on your benefits. SSI is a need-based benefit program. The amount you currently receive through SSI depends upon the amount of resources you have, including the earnings of your spouse. Once divorced, your available resources will decrease, so your potential SSI benefits may increase. But, if you earn spousal support (alimony) as a result of the divorce, it’ll count as earned income towards the SSI limit.

If your current benefits are based on SSDI because of your own work history, your payments won’t be affected by your divorce. The amount you earn is dependent on your work history, and that will not change after your divorce. But, if you’re ordered to pay alimony or child support, a part of your SSDI benefits could be garnished to meet those obligations.

If the amount you were earning was based on your spouse’s record because you’re 62 years of age or older, your payments will not stop when you get divorced unless:

  • You were married for less than ten years
  • You get remarried
  • You become entitled to larger benefits under your own work record

It’s possible to receive dependent Social Security benefits based on your ex-spouse’s Social Security work record if you were married for at least 10 years, you are 62 years of age or older, you are currently unmarried, and you aren’t entitled to a larger benefit under your work record.

If you’re currently receiving disability benefits and want to know what will happen after your divorce, DO NOT hesitate to seek out guidance from a Los Angeles disability attorney. It is important to understand your legal options and to make sure your benefits are not taken away from you after your divorce.

Contact the Kenton Koszdin Law Office to discuss your next steps. We can be reached at (818) 901-9999.

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