Trying to manage your finances when receiving disability is a challenge. Part of receiving disability benefits means you are highly limited in your ability to work, restricting your income potential. Though your spouse may still earn an income, it may not be enough to support your family. What else can you do to help keep money coming in?
If you’re married, there may be a solution. Depending on your circumstances, your spouse may be eligible for supplemental disability benefits based on your earnings history. Let’s go over the requirements to receive SSDI benefits as a married couple.
What are the requirements to receive SSDI benefits as a spouse?
Not everyone is eligible to receive spousal benefits. In order to qualify, there are three possible criteria that you must fulfill:
Over age 62
For the most part, you will need to be over 62 in order to receive your spouse’s benefits. If you would receive a higher benefit on your own from the SSA, you will not be eligible for a further spousal benefit.
Caring for a minor child
If you are caring for a child under 16 and your current or ex spouse is disabled, you can receive benefits. Note that you will receive benefits until the child is 16, and the child can be eligible to receive benefits until they are 18 or married, whichever happens first. There is no age requirement for this.
Caring for a disabled child
If you are caring for a disabled child, you are also eligible for spousal SSDI benefits. In this case, the child does not have to be under 18, though they must be in you and your spouse’s care.
What benefits do I receive?
If you fit one of these criteria, you may be eligible for spousal benefits. Generally, you can collect up to half of the benefit that your spouse receives. If you have more than one family member who is eligible for disability, you may be able to collect on their benefit too. Keep in mind that you will not be able to collect on more than 150-180% of their combined benefit amount.
What if I’m divorced or widowed?
If you are divorced, you may be able to still receive benefits from your disabled former spouse. Again, there are certain criteria that must be met:
- You must be 62 or older
- You are not married or married to someone who qualifies for Social Security benefits
- Your former spouse must be receiving Social Security disability benefits
If your spouse or former spouse dies and is disabled, you may be eligible for a widow or widower’s benefit if you are over 60. If you are 50-61 and are disabled and were married to your spouse for 10 years or more and you didn’t remarry you may be eligible to collect a benefit.
Are you or your spouse applying for disability benefits?
Contact Reynolds & Gold. We’ll work with you to receive the disability benefits you deserve.