How Your Social Security Benefits Are Affected By A Divorce

To get a better understanding of how the social security benefits apply speak with divorce lawyers in Atlanta who understand the impact that social security has on a divorce. Although social security issues can normally be handled by the government agency looking after it, many times having the assistance of a divorce lawyer during the process will speed up the process and allow you to use the social security benefits in the divorce negotiations.

Many couples want to know how a divorce would affect their social security benefits, the rules allow for the partners to receive social benefits and also to apply for social benefits in some situations even if the couples have been divorced.

The following rules apply to receiving and applying for social security benefits when couple’s divorce,

  • The former spouse without the benefits remains unmarried
  • If the marriage lasted for over a decade
  • If the former spouse is 62 years of age older
  • If the amount your former spouse is to receive is less than the amount they would receive based on your income and you’re entitled to social security retirement and / or disability benefits
  • If you are entitled to social security but have to apply for it, your spouse is also entitled to receive benefits, your ex spouse is also permitted to receive the benefits if you’ve been divorced within the last couple of years.

Now you may be wondering how the rules will apply if your former spouse remarries do they still get to collect benefits. In most cases the social security laws won’t allow your spouse to collect any social security benefits once they remarry. However if they do remarry and their most recent marriage ends by divorce, death or an unforeseen issue, they may be eligible for some social security under the marriage they had with you.

If your spouse was entitled to receive their own social security retirement benefits, that amount will be paid first. However when:

  • If your former spouse has reached full age to receive social security benefits and their own retirement benefits they can choose which option to select
  • When the benefit is less than the highest amount, they will get a combination of the higher amount of social security benefit
  • Your spouse can also choose to decide on which divorced spouse’s social security benefit and their own wait for their retirement benefits to be full recognized. In some cases it might be more advantageous to receive the retirement benefit later, allowing for additional retirement credits.

The understanding of social security benefits are complex especially for couples how have had long term marriages of greater than a decade and decide to end their marriage. In most cases the law recognizes that there was a significant portion of each others lives spent together, for this reason they allow many of the benefits from social security to apply even if the couple has been divorced. However a marriage would change the outcome the law.

Background on Social Security disability benefits

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is a form of benefit that is provided to people who became disabled previous to attaining the age of sixty-five and are rendered incapable to work. SSDI is an insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration and funded through Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) which is comprise of payroll contributions of working Americans. SSDI provides benefits to all of its members as well as certain qualified members of family based on the member’s record.

Social Security benefits are paid on a monthly method. The amount paid to the beneficiary is subject to the worker’s age, range of income, and length of time in the work. SSDI payments typically commence subsequent to a five month waiting period from the date of the disability and will keep on until the beneficiary can return to work again. If the beneficiary has recovered from disability and has the capacity to return to work, SSDI will provide some work incentives to help alleviate the changeover with continued benefits and health care coverage.

When a beneficiary continues to receive Social Security benefits up until he/she reaches full retirement age, the standard disability benefits automatically changes to retirement benefits, however the amount is still the same.

How to tell if you’re eligible for Social Security disability benefits

As soon as you become disabled you should apply for disability benefits. Do not delay because it can take a long time to process an application for disability benefits, but prior to doing so you must meet the eligibility requirements of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must be disabled conforming to the Social Security’s definition of disability, and you must have worked in jobs covered by the Social Security Administration.

To be considered disabled, a person must have physical or mental impairment. The person’s disability is founded on SSA’s guidelines which basically state that the disability must be severe enough to keep the person from working, and the disability can cause death or that is expected to persist for at least one year. Social Security benefits will only be given to a person with total disability; this excludes partial or temporary disability.

Another guideline from the SSA is to pass two different income tests. The recent work test evaluates your age at the time that you have became disabled and the other is duration of work test that determines if you have worked long enough under SSA. You must also have paid sufficient contribution into the SSA

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