Divorce and Disability Benefits

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and stressful time, and for someone receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you shouldn’t have to worry about your divorce affecting your benefits.  In the case that you do undergo a divorce while receiving disability benefits, the experienced advisors at Rodier Family Law are here to provide you with the tips and information you need to maintain your disability benefits.


Payments After Divorce

In the case of a divorce, your disability benefits should not be negatively affected, as your benefits are based on your earnings and available resources.  If you are receiving SSI benefits, your payments may even increase. SSI benefits are based off of your available resources, including your spouse’s income, so in the case of a divorce the loss of that income would increase your monthly payments.  In the case of SSDI benefits, your monthly payments would remain the same, as it is based on your past work history.

In the case of a divorce, your benefits could be allocated out to pay for certain stipulations from the divorce.  If, for example, in your divorce you are required to pay alimony or child support, a portion of your disability benefits could be assigned to pay these bills.


SSDI Auxiliary Benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are unique in that your spouse and/or minor children can receive benefits as well. These added benefits are referred to as “auxiliary benefits”. If you or your spouse are receiving spousal benefits from one-another’s SSDI benefits, a divorce will not affect your spousal benefits, as long as you were married for at least 10 years, you don’t remarry and you don’t qualify for a larger payment.


Divorced Spousal Income

If divorced and your former spouse becomes eligible for SSDI benefits at a later time, you could be entitled to receive auxiliary benefits if you meet the following criteria:

  • The marriage lasted over 10 years
  • You are least 62 years’ old
  • You are currently unmarried
  • You aren’t eligible for a higher Social Security payment


Parental Benefits

In most cases a divorce will not affect your parental benefits, as long as you continue to meet the necessary criteria. To be eligible to receive these benefits you must care for a child of your ex-spouse, who is 16 or younger or disabled (if over the age of 22, the child must have become disabled prior to turning 22). Your benefits will continue until your child become ineligible.

If you were receiving parental benefits based off of your spouse’s child while you were married and in the divorce the child is no longer a dependent of yours, these benefits would cease due to the divorce.

Rodier Family Law has been assisting their clients throughout the divorce process for years, bringing the skill and experience necessary to help individuals make it successfully through this stressful and difficult time. A dedicated family law attorney can help ensure that you are receiving the disability benefits you deserve after a divorce. If you are considering a divorce or have recently undergone one, we invite you to contact us today for more information about disability benefits and to schedule an initial consultation with our office.