When you get divorced, your social security benefits can be affected. It is important to know how, before signing all of the paperwork. Your benefits may be affected differently, whether they are Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD, or SSDI).

Social Security Income

With Social Security Income, your benefits may actually increase after divorce. This is due to the fact that SSI is based on the total resources available to you, as a need-based benefit. Without your spouse’s income, and potential alimony payments, your SSI may increase. On the other hand, if you start receiving alimony yourself, your SSI may be decreased. You will need to report the divorce to the Social Security Administration, so they can re-evaluate your benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance on Your Record

If your SSD is from your own record, the divorce itself should not, in most cases, affect it. However, if you have to pay alimony or child support, some of your SSD may automatically go into the payments instead. The types of benefits that you have may determine if they will be affected by the divorce.

Your Spouse’s SSDI

If you were receiving a spouse’s benefit while you were married, because you were 62 years old or older, this payment shouldn’t stop from the divorce, except under certain conditions. If you were married for less than 10 years, if you get remarried, or if you become eligible for larger SSD benefits because of your own work record. If you meet all of those criteria, and were not receiving social security benefits via your spouse when you were married, you may be able to start collecting at the time of the divorce.

Mother/Father Benefit

Mother’s and father’s benefits do not depend on if you stay married. Nor will getting remarried later affect your right to mother’s or father’s benefits. If you take care of a child, who is 16 or younger, of your disabled/retired ex-spouse, you can still collect this benefit. Additionally, if your disabled child is above the age of 22, and has a condition that was pre-existing before they turned 22; you can collect from the Mother/Father benefit if they are living with you.

Divorced Spouse’s Survivor Benefits

If your ex-spouse dies, you may still be able to claim benefits from their SSD record. You can be awarded these benefits if you were married to your ex-spouse for at least ten years, you didn’t remarry,you are at least 60 years old, or at least 50 years old and disabled, and you can’t receive a larger benefit under your own Social Security record.

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