If you are receiving social security disability benefits, your spouse or ex-spouse may be entitled to benefits as well. These spousal benefits for Social Security Disability are in addition to your monthly benefits.
Your spouse may be eligible to receive benefits based on your record if he or she is age 62 or older, and if she is not entitled to a larger benefit based on her own record. This means if your spouse would be entitled to a $550 per month spousal benefit, but $775 under her own earnings record, she would receive the higher amount. Your spouse may choose to receive spousal benefits at age 62, and choose not to receive benefits based on her own earnings record until she reaches full retirement age; in these cases, the spousal benefit would continue until she reached full retirement age.
Your spouse is also eligible to receive benefits based on your record, regardless of his age, if he is caring for your child who is either under the age of 16 or disabled and receiving SSD benefits. These benefits will stop once your child turns 16 (they will restart once your spouse turns 62).
If you have an ex-spouse (or even more than one ex-spouse), that spouse may be entitled to spousal benefits based on your SSA earnings, even if one or both of you remarried. To be eligible for benefits, you must have been married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years. In addition, your ex-spouse must be:
- Age 62 or older;
- Unmarried, and;
- Ineligible for increased social security benefits based on her own, or someone else’s, social security record.
If your ex-remarried after the divorce, and later divorced the subsequent spouse, she is still entitled to receive benefits under your SSA record, provided the other criteria are met. Any social security benefits your ex-spouse receives under your record will not affect the amount you and any current spouse receive.
Amount of spousal benefits
The amount of the monthly spousal benefit varies, based on your monthly benefit and the number of family members who qualify on your record (other qualifying family members may include minor children or adult dependent children), but could be as much as 50% of your monthly benefit amount.
The SSA caps the total benefit amount you and your eligible family members may receive to anywhere from 150 and 180 percent of your total disability benefit. If the total benefits payable based on your record exceed the maximum, benefits to your eligible family members will be reduced proportionately. Spousal and family benefits do not impact your benefit amount in any way.
Applying for spousal benefits
You can apply for social security spousal benefits online, over the phone at 800-772-1213, or at your local SSA field office. Be prepared to provide one or all the following:
- Birth certificate;
- Proof of citizenship or lawful alien status;
- W-2 forms and/or prior year’s tax return;
- Marriage certificate, and;
- Divorce decree, if applying for benefits as an ex-spouse
Do you know someone who is in need of SSD assistance? Our office can assist at all levels of the application process. Contact us online or call #(847) 577-4476 .