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The impact of divorce on Social Security: Part II


Since a large number of sole breadwinners in Alexandria, Virginia have become disabled due to workplace injuries, obtaining Social Security benefits is one of the best ways for the family to gain financial independence. When financial details relating to a divorce settlement emerge, the Social Security benefits also become a huge part of the settlement. In the case involving a low-income family, receiving Social Security benefits might be the only way to avoid financial ruin for the entire family. In some cases, the former spouses of a Social Security recipient may be able to claim benefits if the ex-spouse dies.

In a case in which the ex-spouse who was eligible for Social Security benefits dies, the surviving divorced spouse may wish to consult a knowledgeable attorney in order to process the various claims so that the person can receive benefits. However, there are some specific eligibility criteria that the Social Security Administration requires in order to grant the ex-spouse benefits.

First, the surviving ex-spouse must be above 60 years of age in order to qualify for survivor benefits under the Social Security federal grant. In special cases where the surviving ex-spouse also suffers from a disability, the age eligibility may be lowered to 50 years.

However, it is important to note that, in a case in which the ex-spouse who is claiming Social Security benefits remarries 60 years of age, that person will not be eligible for Social Security benefits, much like the existing laws on alimony. However, in a case in which the former spouse who is claiming the benefits remarries after the age of 60, the SSA may consider the ex-spouse eligible for the federal grant, depending on the specific facts and merits of the case.

Source: AARP.org, "Social Security for divorced couples," accessed on Aug. 11, 2015

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