Ask Larry

Will I Now Be Able To Collect Half Of My Ex's Disability Benefit Rate?

I'm collecting social security on my own working record and supplemented on my ex husband working record he applied for SSDI, when we were married and was denied several times, now he won his case and will collect a higher amount, we were married for over 10 years he is 67 years old and I' m 68 years old and we have been divorce for 4 years, can I qualify for half or his DDDI?

Hi. Unreduced divorced spousal benefits are based on 50% of the worker's primary insurance amount (PIA), not the worker's monthly benefit rate A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing at full retirement age (FRA), or their full unreduced Social Security disability (SSDI) benefit rate. The only thing that would increase your divorced spousal rate would be if your ex's PIA increases.

Being approved for SSDI benefits based on a disability that began at age 62 or later wouldn't increase a person's PIA. It could, however, increase the disabled worker's monthly benefit rate because SSDI benefits aren't reduced when paid for months prior to a person's FRA, whereas retirement benefits are reduced for age if collected prior to FRA. Therefore, assuming that your ex's disability began when he was age 62 or older, the fact that he's apparently now been approved for SSDI won't cause your divorced spousal rate to increase.

Best, Jerry

May 29 2021 - 10:18am
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