How will getting a divorce affect my Social Security disability benefits?

Many things can affect your Social Security disability benefits, including your household income and even your marital status. Seeing as both of things change when a couple splits, getting a divorce can affect your Social Security disability benefits in a big way.

How will divorce affect my Social Security Disability benefits?

How a divorce will affect your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) income hinges on whose earning record the Social Security Administration (SSA) is basing your benefits on.

In most cases, individuals worked for years before suffering a disability, and their SSDI benefits stem from their own earning record. If this is the case for you, your benefit amount will remain unchanged unless the courts garnish your income for child support or other payments.

In other cases, however, the SSA bases SSDI benefits on someone else’s earning record or disability. Depending on whose record these benefits stem from, your payments may change.

Spousal, or auxiliary, benefits allow you to draw SSDI based on a spouse who qualifies. If you are currently receiving this type of benefit, you will continue receiving the same amount each month as long as:

  • Your marriage lasted ten years or longer
  • You do not get remarried
  • You do not become eligible for a significantly larger Social Security benefit based on your own employment record and/or disability

If your marriage lasted less than ten years, you may lose eligibility for this type of auxiliary payment.

How can divorce affect Supplemental Security Income benefits?

In many cases, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits increase after a divorce. The SSA bases these benefits on your income and other factors related to your financial situation, which means your benefits are likely to increase if:

  • Your divorce causes your household income to decrease
  • You split assets with your spouse in the divorce
  • Your spouse was contributing to your living expenses

In some cases, though, your benefits might decrease. Since the SSA calculates your payment based on your income, any monies you receive in the divorce or after may count against you. This includes any assets, alimony, and child support.

How can The Ward Law Firm help me?

If you receive SSDI or SSI benefits, it pays to look into how your Gwinnett County divorce could affect your income before going forward with filing. Too many people receive an unwanted surprise when they call the SSA to tell it about their new single status.

Because a divorce can impact your benefits in a number of ways, it is a good idea to discuss it with a Gwinnett County divorce lawyer before making any decisions on how to proceed.

If you have questions about your SSDI or SSI benefits and how a divorce may affect your eligibility for payments, The Ward Law Firm can help. Call us today at 770-383-1973 and set up your REAL Case Analysis with attorney David Ward.