Is It True That I Could Get Benefits On My Ex-Husband's Disability Record Now That I'm Age 50?

Aug 8 2018 - 5:09pm

Hi Jerry were both on social security disability hes been on it for years I worked our whole marriage and then for the last 7 years I've been on it he was on it for the whole 20 years I was married to him. We have been divorced for 3 years but I've been separated from him for the last 8 years. My son just turned 18 so I get no more benefits for here my loss to $800 a month some only receiving 872 and really struggling. I was told that now that I just turned 50 in January I could get benefits back from being divorced from him for more than 3 years and being 50 and on disability and he still on disability is this true

Hi,

No, that's not true. The earliest that you could possibly qualify for divorced spousal benefits on the record of a living ex-spouse is at age 62. Even then, though, you would only qualify for divorced spousal benefits if your ex-spouse's primary insurance amount (PIA) is more than twice as much as your PIA. The amount of a person's Social Security disability (SSDI) benefit is the same as their PIA, so you should be able to tell if you'd qualify for divorced spousal benefits in the future by comparing your SSDI rate with half of your ex-husband's rate. Also, if you do qualify for divorced spousal benefits and you start drawing them prior to your full retirement age (FRA) of 67, your divorced spousal rate will be reduced for age.

However, it is possible to qualify for disabled surviving divorced spousal benefits as early as age 50. So, if your ex-husband dies and his PIA is higher than your PIA, you probably would qualify for benefits on his record in that event. In the meantime, it sounds like your SSDI rate is too high for you to be eligible for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs based program administered by Social Security. You may check with the Department of Social Services in your area to see if they have any suggestions regarding other needs based programs for which you may qualify, such as food stamps (https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/snap-application-and-local-office-locators).

Best, Jerry