One question commonly asked by individuals who are currently receiving or eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is whether their spouse can get SSD benefits. As long as you and your existing spouse have been married for at least one year, he or she may qualify to receive a monthly spouse benefit. Divorced spouses, who were married for at least 10 years, and surviving spouses can also be eligible to receive SSD benefits. The average lifetime earnings record of the disabled spouse will determine spousal benefits.
The type of benefits your spouse may be entitled to receive will depend on a number of factors. In most cases, the spouse of a disabled worker can generally receive up to 50 percent of his or her SSD benefits while the disabled worker is still alive.
If the worker’s children are also collecting SSD benefits, then the spousal benefits may be reduced. Total benefits cannot exceed the maximum family amount. The limit on this amount can vary, but it is usually no more than between 150 and 180 percent of the disabled worker’s basis benefit rate.
Survivor benefits are often quite different than those an individual would be eligible to receive while his or her disabled spouse was still alive. Surviving spouse SSD benefits are determined as follows:
Numerous factors will affect your spouse’s benefit eligibility. Until your surviving spouse reaches full retirement age, any amount of income he or she makes above the yearly earnings limit could reduce the benefit amount. For every $2 dollars that your spouse earns over the annual limit (which is set at $15,720 for 2015), $1 will be deducted from his or her benefit payments. Once your spouse reaches full retirement age, his or her earnings will no longer reduce the benefit amount your spouse receives.
Survivor benefits for a spouse or divorced spouse can be impacted if he or she:
We are here to help if you are a disabled worker who simply wants to make sure your spouse is able to get the benefits he or she may be eligible to receive, or if you are the surviving spouse of a disabled worker and want to find out how to get SSD benefits. Our attorneys are well qualified to handle all aspects of SSD, including spousal benefits. Contact a Detroit SSD lawyer at our office today, so we can get your questions answered and advise you on how to proceed.