What Is the Effect of Divorce on Disability Benefits in the United States?


Quick Answer

A person receiving disability benefits in the United States continues to receive the same benefits even after divorce, regardless of whether he or she remarries, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. The ex-spouse, however, may or may not qualify for benefits, depending on several factors determined by the Social Security Administration.

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What Is the Effect of Divorce on Disability Benefits in the United States?
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Full Answer

According to the guidelines of the Social Security Administration, in order for an ex-spouse to continue to receive benefits, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years, and the ex-spouse must be at least 62 years old. If the ex-spouse remarries, or if he or she is eligible for an equal or higher benefit on another Social Security record (his or her own or that of someone else), he or she no longer qualifies for the disability benefits of the former spouse.

As of 2015, an ex-spouse who receives a pension from a job not covered by Social Security (government or foreign work, for instance) may see an offset to the disability benefits. In that case, two-thirds of the pension must offset those benefits. Certain individuals are exempt from the offset based on the type of government pension received, whether they paid Social Security taxes, when they applied for and were capable of receiving their ex-spouse's benefits, and when they ceased employment, notes the U.S. Social Security Administration.

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