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What You Should Know About Spousal Benefits While Collecting Social Security Disability Insurance

Most people do not fully understand the complex laws and limitations that govern social security funds. For this reason, most families do not get the full benefits or compensations. Even the ones who get the benefits, most do not know the proper measures involved for you to maximize the profits.

If your spouse is collecting his/her social security disability benefits, there are some important things you should know. You as the partner or spouse may also be entitled to at most 50 percent of his/her social security earnings.

Eligibility Criteria for Spousal Social Security BenefitsImage result for 62 years old couple illustration

Not every spouse can benefit from Spousal Benefits. Only those who have been married to the recipient for one year and have attained the age of 62. The one-year marital period only applies to spouses who are still married at the time when the other partner starts to receive the disability benefits. For divorced spouses or ex-spouse to qualify, you must have been married to the recipient for at least ten years. You should be single at the time of claiming benefits, if you have remarried, you may not receive the benefits. If you are raising your spouse’s child and your spouse is receiving the benefits, you too are eligible for the money regardless of your age. This only applies when your child is below the age of 16. The last eligibility criteria are the amount of money you receive as your social security retirement benefits. For you to benefit from the spouse insurance money, your retirement benefits should not be more than what the disability amount is.

The Amount That You Will Receive

From your spouse’s social security disability insurance, you will get 50% of his/her earning. But this amount is subject to the number of family members that are receiving the same benefits. A family is entitled to about 150% of the earning of the disability insured member. So if several kids are receiving some benefits, the spousal benefits will be reduced depending on the amount.
If your spouse dies while still receiving the money, you as the partner will receive a death benefit. The money is in hundreds of dollars as long as the deceased was living with you under the same roof at the time of death. You will then cease to receive the spousal benefit amount, the 50% and start receiving his or her amount instead.

Mother’s/Father’s Parental benefits

If your disabled spouse dies while receiving social security disability insurance money, you as the spouse will receive a mother’s or father’s benefit as long as you are raising a disabled child or any child below the age of 16 as mentioned earlier. As for the disabled children, the child must have gotten the disability while still young. This applies to children who are above the age of 22 and are either mentally or physically disabled. The disability must have occurred before the child in question attains the age of 22. The ten-year rule for divorced couples does not apply when it comes to the mother’s or the father’s benefit.

Regardless of Ex-Spouses, You Can Still Benefit

If after your divorce your ex-partner went ahead and remarried but is currently receiving the disability benefits, you can always get the money. All that is required is that you did not remarry. The number of spouses will not deter you from getting the money. But you must meet all the requirements from your side.

How To Maximize The BenefitImage result for social security spousal benefit illustration

What many people do not know is that although you are eligible for the spousal benefit at the age of 62. You will not get the full 50% if you start claiming the money before you attain your retirement age. To get the total amount, you have to wait for a few more years. If you start receiving the benefits when you are 62 years old, the amount will be reduced based on the number of months that will be remaining before you hit the retirement age.

The Application Process

The application process is pretty simple and does not require you to go to the Social Security Administration offices. All you have to do is call them and submit your marriage certificate, your bank details, social security number, and birth certificate. If your spouse or ex-spouse has already passed away, you will have to include his or her death certificate. Note that this is only applicable if your spouse is a benefactor of social security disability insurance.

Eligibility Criteria For Spousal Benefits After Divorce

It is possible to claim your social security benefits even after divorcing the person whose income you rely on. As you may already know, there is a strict criteria you need to satisfy to qualify for the benefits. The conditions you have to meet based on your ex-spouse’s work history are detailed below.

  • The marriage should have lasted for at least 10 years.
  • After the divorce, you don’t remarry.
  • You at least 62 years old.
  • Your ex-partner had worked long enough to qualify for the benefits or he/she is already receiving the benefits.
  • The amount you would get as a social security benefit if you have a work history is less than the amount you would receive as a spousal benefit.

If you meet the above criteria, then you can claim the benefits up-to a half of your ex-spouse’s monthly benefits. If you remarried, you don’t need to worry because even if you don’t qualify for the benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work history, you will still qualify to claim spousal benefits based on your new spouse’s income history in case of another divorce. To determine the exact amount of money you can receive in spousal benefits, you should use a social security administration calculator. Additionally, in case you have any more questions or inquiries, you should visit the social security office near you.

There Is No Benefit In Delaying To File For Social SecurityImage result for social security 209 b

This is one of the important facts about spousal benefits that you should keep in mind. You should know the exact amount of money you expect. If you attain your full retirement age, you will be entitled to either half the full retirement benefits your spouse is receiving or the benefits that are equivalent to your work record (depending on which is greater). You don’t expect to receive more spousal benefits if you wait until after your retirement age to claim the benefits as in the case when the claim is based on your work record. If you file for social security after your retirement age, the amount of the spousal benefit will be capped at half your spouse’s primary insurance amount (PIA). Therefore, it is important to note that unless it is based on your own work record, the unavailability of benefits at all to delay claiming for your spousal benefits till after your retirement age is among the important facts about spousal benefits that you should keep in mind.

Only One Benefit Will Go Through

You should plan early when you and your spouse will apply for spouse benefits. One of the important facts about spousal benefits you should remember is that you will only be allowed to claim one benefit payment per month if your spouse dies. Once the surviving spouse claims both potential benefits, the spouse will receive either the other spouse’s own retirement benefit or the benefits based on her/his own work record.  Spousal benefits when collecting social security disability insurance can be a hard nut to crack. It makes more sense for husbands to wait longer to claim the spousal benefits. It is even better if the wife has a working record because she can claim the benefits to boost them financially while the husband’s benefits are in waiting. That will maintain the couple as long as possible and when the husband hits 70 years old, he can claim for the full benefits keeping in mind the fact the spouse who lives longest will receive the highest benefits possible.

Types Of Social Security Disability Insurance

Basically, people who are covered by the program get social security disability benefits if they become disabled and can no longer work. Additionally, supplemental security income is another similar program that is based on financial need rather than an individual’s work history.

Other Requirements To Be Eligible For The Social Security Disability BenefitsImage result for disability illustration

To qualify for the social security disability benefits you must meet two main requirements. Firstly, you must have been employed and worked under the cover for a certain amount of time. You must pass the “duration of work” test which depends on age. For instance, if you get disabled at 28 you must have worked for a duration of 1.5 years and if you are disabled at 60 you must have worked for a period not less than 9.5 years. Additionally, you must have worked for a half the “duration of work” immediately before you were disabled, a requirement known as recent work test. Secondly, obviously, you must be disabled. Usually, you are entitled to social security disability benefits if you become disabled or rather have a medical condition and you can’t continue to work for a period not less than one year or can result in death.

The Amount Of Money You Can Expect To Be Paid If You Become Disabled

The income you earned from your employment will be used to determine your disability benefits. Generally, the amount you are likely to get is slightly less the total amount you could have earned until your retirement age.

Children And Spouse(s) Can Also Get Benefits                                                               

This is one of the important facts about spousal benefits when collecting social security disability insurance that you should keep in mind.  The social security disability benefits are not for people who become disabled only. Your close family members can get the benefits to a certain limit. You should consider spousal benefits when collecting social security disability insurance.