After going through a divorce, you may wonder if your Social Security benefits could be affected by this process. Continue reading to discover what will happen to your benefits after you have finalized divorced. Contact an experienced family law and divorce attorney today if you have any further questions regarding this topic. We would be happy to help.
What will happen to my benefits after getting a divorce?
If your benefits are based on your work history, getting a divorce will not affect receiving your Social Security benefits. When your retirement benefits are based on your former spouse’s work history, you will be eligible to receive these benefits if you meet the following criteria:
- You are unmarried
- You are 62 years or older
- Your ex-spouse is entitled to receive benefits
- You were married to your former spouse for at least 10 years
- The amount you are entitled to depending on your own work history does not exceed the amount you are entitled to based on your ex-spouse’s history
If you meet these requirements, even if your former spouse has not yet applied for Social Security benefits, you will be able to successfully apply for benefits as long as you have been divorced for at least two years.
How are the total Social Security benefit amounts determined?
Social Security will consider you and your former spouse’s work history when determining the total benefit amount owed to you. You will either receive 100% of the benefits based on your own work record or you will receive 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefits, whichever amount is greater.
Do I qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
If you or your former spouse meets Social Security’s definition of disabled, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. You will qualify for these benefits only if you have worked long enough in jobs covered in Social Security.
You may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits if you meet the following criteria:
- You are unmarried
- You were married to your ex for at least ten years and are at least 62-years old or you are caring for your ex-spouse’s natural or legally adopted child under 16 or a disabled child who qualifies for disability benefits under your ex’s work record
Getting a divorce will not impact your eligibility for these benefits if you are receiving these benefits based on your own work record. However, a portion of your benefits may be used to pay for child support or alimony.
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