Spousal Benefits for Social Security Disability in Albany

If your spouse receives Social Security Disability benefits, the financial help is probably crucial to keeping your household running. But it’s still a struggle.

More help may be available.

As the spouse of someone receiving disability income, you may qualify for Social Security Disability spousal benefits—increasing your sense of financial security.

If you’re in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs or anywhere in Upstate New York, let the legal team at James Trauring & Associates, LLC, evaluate your situation and help you understand your options.

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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Spousal Benefits

To be eligible for spousal benefits for Social Security Disability, you must meet one of the following requirements:

    • You are 62 or older. Your benefits will be based on your spouse’s work record, unless your own work record could give you a higher amount. If you haven’t reached your full retirement age, you will face an early retirement penalty.
    • You’re caring for a child under age 16. As long as the child is your spouse’s child, you’re eligible for benefits without an early retirement penalty.
    • You’re caring for a child who receives disability benefits. In this case, you can continue collecting spousal benefits when the child is over 16 or is an adult.

It gets complicated. But attorney James Trauring has over 30 years of experience helping New Yorkers sort out Social Security Disability benefits.

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How Much Can You Collect in Social Security Disability Spousal Benefits?

Spousal benefits can total up to 50% of your spouse’s monthly disability benefit amount.

If your children are also collecting benefits on your spouse’s work record, the amount will be reduced based on a cap that applies to your entire family.

The cap depends on your spouse’s benefit amount and the number of family members who also qualify on your spouse’s work record. Generally, the total amount your family can receive is between 150 and 180 percent of your spouse’s disability benefits.

If you have your own qualifying work record, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will pay that amount first. If the amount you can receive based on your spouse’s benefit is higher, the SSA will pay that amount.

What Happens to Social Security Disability Spousal Benefits After a Divorce?

If you’re divorced from your spouse who receives disability benefits, you may still be eligible for benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work record. You must meet these requirements:

  • The marriage lasted at least 10 years.
  • You’re at least 62.
  • You’re unmarried.
  • You can’t receive benefits based on your own record in an amount equal to or higher than your spouse’s benefits.

Receiving benefits based on your ex-spouse’s Social Security Disability will not affect the benefits of other dependents, such as a current spouse and children.

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How to Apply for Social Security Disability Spousal Benefits

When you contact the SSA to apply for spousal benefits, you will need the following documents:

  • Social Security number
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Information about any previous marriages

It’s natural to have questions about the requirements for spousal benefits.

James Trauring & Associates, LLC, can answer your questions, help with your application and help your family maintain financial independence.

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Spousal Benefits for Social Security Disability in Albany Infographic