Q:

How does a spouse qualify for disability benefits?

A:

Quick Answer

A spouse may claim Social Security disability benefits if she takes care of a child under the age of 16 or a disabled child over the age of 22, regardless of age or whether or not she is still married to the disabled worker, states Nolo. A spouse may also qualify for benefits if she has been married to the disabled worker for at least one year and is over the age of 62.

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Full Answer

In the event of the disabled worker's death, the surviving spouse may qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits or Social Security retirement benefits if the spouse remained married to the deceased disabled worker at least one year and is 60 years or older, disabled and between the ages of 50 and 60, or eligible for parental benefits under the conditions listed above, explains Nolo. The spouse stops receiving disability benefits after the death of the disabled worker if she remarries or is eligible for Social Security benefits from her own record of employment worth more than the disability payments.

A divorced spouse may also qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits if she remained married to the disabled worker for at least 10 years and if she is over the age of 62 and the disabled worker filed a claim, or if she is over 62, been divorced at least two years and the disabled worker has not filed a claim, states Nolo. A divorced spouse may also qualify for benefits in the event the disabled worker dies if the spouse is over 60 or disabled and between the ages of 50 and 60.

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