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How Does a Divorced Spouse Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on December 26, 2012 | In Social Security Disability

Divorced spouses may qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits based on a former spouse’s work record, if they lack the work record needed to qualify on their own. Because the rules that govern divorced spouses qualifying for benefits can be complicated, it’s important to seek the help of an attorney if you have questions about divorced spouse benefits.

The SSA currently allows a person to qualify for disability benefits based on the work record of a former spouse if:

  • The former spouse is deceased, but qualified for benefits on his or her own record at the time of death;
  • The person applying for benefits is at least 50-years-old;
  • The spouses were married for at least 10 years; and
  • The person applying is not entitled to a higher benefit amount based on his or her own work record.

If the person applying for benefits remarried after age 50, the SSA will ignore the work record of the new spouse if the application is based on the former spouse’s work record. Since a new spouse’s work record might support a higher benefits amount, however, it’s important to consider which application would provide greater support for the disabled individual.

Other types of benefits, including retirement benefits, may be based on the work record of a former spouse, whether or not that person has since passed away. However, the rules for retirement benefits differ in some key ways from the rules for retirement benefits.

For professional assistance with your federal disability benefits, don’t hesitate to contact a Social Security disability claims lawyer in Van Nuys at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office. Our legal team will help you every step of the way to ensure you and your family receive the benefits you need. Call (800) 438-7734 for a complimentary consultation.

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