Content starts here
CLOSE ×
Search
Reply
Contributor

Divorced Survivor Benefits

 
    My ex husband passed Nov 1, 2023. We divorced Jan 4 2014 after being separated for several yrs I became disabled Jan10 2014. I was 54.  I remarried Sept 5 2015 at age 55. Am I eligible to survivor benefits? I was told yes by 2 employees of Social Security and no by 2 other employees. I received a denial because I remarried before 60 and was verbally told because I’m over 60.  Anyone know where I can get legal assistance?

0 Kudos
542 Views
5
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

One more thing @MariaM366113 

You said “I became disabled Jan10 2013. I was 53.  I remarried Sept 5 2013 at age 55.”

That is NOT possible - age progression follows years.  You cannot be 53 in January 2013 and then 55 in September of the same year - 2013.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
0 Kudos
479 Views
1
Report
Contributor

You are absolutely right. I made the corrections on dates. Thanks!

0 Kudos
451 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

You don’t need legal assistance if you do not meet the Social Security guidelines for a Divorced, Disabled, Surviving Spouse and it does not sound like you do - so paying for legal help when the guidelines are so clear would be a waste of your resources.

 

 But maybe you haven’t covered everything in your description like what happened to the 2nd marriage?  Was it terminated by divorce, annulment or death of this 2nd spouse?  Or are you still married to spouse #2?

 

How long were you married to spouse #1 ( the one that died) - it had to have been a minimum of 10 years.

 

Here are the guidelines from the government (Social Security Administration)

 

SSA.gov - Benefits - IF YOU ARE A SURVIVOR 

read specifically the part entitled “Surviving Spouse” and “Surviving Divorced Spouse”

 

From the link under Surviving Divorced Spouse;

If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who dies, you could get benefits the same as a surviving spouse, provided that your marriage lasted 10 years or more.

 

Benefits paid to you as a surviving divorced spouse won't affect the benefit amount for other survivors getting benefits on the worker's record.

 

If you remarry after you reach age 60 (age 50 if you have a disability), the remarriage will not affect your eligibility for survivors benefits.

If you are caring for a child under age 16 or who has a disability and the child get benefits on the record of your former spouse, you would not have to meet the length-of-marriage rule. The child must be your former spouse's natural or legally adopted child.

 

For a quick summary of the specific eligibility requirements use the SSABest Government Screening Tool for Social Security Disabled Surviving Divorced Spouse Benefits.

 

from the above link for Social Security Disabled Surviving Divorced Spouse eligibility:

Program Requirements

 

To qualify for benefits as a disabled surviving divorced spouse, you must be

  • divorced from a deceased spouse and meet the following requirements:
  • Be at least age 50 but not yet age 60 (for the disabled)
  • Have been married at least 10 years before the date the divorce became final.
  • Meet the disability related requirements.
  • Be unmarried, unless the marriage can be disregarded.
  • Not entitled to an equal or higher Social Security retirement benefit based on your own work.

BTW, you cannot apply for Surviving Benefits online - you have to make an appointment with your local SSA office and apply there WITH ALL THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION (unless you want to have to go back or mail the original documents).

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
0 Kudos
506 Views
2
Report
Contributor

I was married for 33 yrs. I became disabled in 2014 at age 54. I married after 50 being disabled. That’s what I feel I should be eligible. 

 

 

9. But remarriage can be disqualifying.  

If you remarry before turning age 60 (50 if disabled), you forfeit eligibility for survivor benefits on a prior spouse's (or ex-spouse's) earnings record. You can regain eligibility if the later marriage ends due to divorce or death.

Remarrying after that age has no impact on eligibility for survivor benefits stemming from a previous marriage.

 


0 Kudos
429 Views
1
Report
Honored Social Butterfly


@MariaM366113 wrote:

I was married for 33 yrs. I became disabled in 2014 at age 54. I married after 50 being disabled. That’s what I feel I should be eligible. 

 

 

9. But remarriage can be disqualifying.  

If you remarry before turning age 60 (50 if disabled), you forfeit eligibility for survivor benefits on a prior spouse's (or ex-spouse's) earnings record. You can regain eligibility if the later marriage ends due to divorce or death.

Remarrying after that age has no impact on eligibility for survivor benefits stemming from a previous marriage.

 


 

Were you declared “disabled” by the Social Security Administration (SSA) prior to age 50?  It has to be declared by this government office for it to count. SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) - being declared disabled with either one will do

 

That is gonna be the questionable sticking point since it seems you were not declared disable until age 54.  So that will probably disqualify you from these Survivors benefits. 

 

SSA.gov - Survivors Benefits pamphlet 

 

Try your question on the reddit - Social Security board - there are real knowledgeable people over there - some even work for the SSA - 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
0 Kudos
409 Views
0
Report
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Need to Know

"I downloaded AARP Perks to assist in staying connected and never missing out on a discount!" -LeeshaD341679

AARP Perks

More From AARP