Going through a divorce is a modern-day reality for some New Jersey residents. Divorce is an emotionally draining experience that also comes with a unique set of financial challenges. One factor that is a major contributor to these financial challenges is Social Security Disability benefits. Thankfully, laws are in place to make it possible for a divorced spouse to claim SSD benefits based on the coverage of a former spouse.
SSD benefits for divorced spouses are available to those people whose former spouses are receiving, or are eligible for, SSD benefits. However, to qualify for those benefits, a certain set of guidelines provided by the Social Security Administration must be met. These rules are:
- SSD benefit claimants must be over the age of 62 years and must not be married.
- Claimants must be divorced from a person who either receives SSD benefits or is eligible for them.
- Duration of the marriage must have been at least 10 years before the date of finalization of the divorce.
- Claimants must not be receiving SSD retirement benefits higher than those being received by the ex-spouse.
A divorcee meeting these criteria may apply for the SSD benefits. However, being divorced and meeting the aforementioned guidelines are not sufficient for obtaining SSD benefits. The former spouse must also be eligible for SSD benefits per SSA guidelines regarding disability. In order to ascertain eligibility, a person may visit the website, which has the U.S. government’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.
Despite the clear set of guidelines provided by the SSA regarding SSD benefits for divorced spouses, a number of areas remain in which obtaining a rightful claim becomes difficult. Considering such situations, it may be a wise decision to consult a New Jersey attorney experienced in matters related to SSD benefits. With proper guidance, it may be possible to effectively handle all claims and appeals.
Source: Benefits.gov, “Social Security Divorced Spouse Benefits,” Accessed on Dec. 19, 2014