Social Security Disability and Spouse Benefits

If you have been approved for Social Security disability, your spouse may also be eligible for benefits. Your spouse does not have to be disabled, and does not have to qualify by working a minimum number of quarters. But there are other requirements that must be met.

Your spouse must file an application for spousal benefits. You must have been married for at least one year before this application is filed. If you are not married, the spouse must be the father or mother of your biological son or daughter.

Your spouse must be at least 62 years of age, or must be caring for a child younger than 16, or who is disabled and entitled to benefits on your Social Security earnings.

Your spouse must not be entitled to retirement benefits, or disability benefits, which amount to one-half or more of your “primary insurance amount” or PIA. This the amount that you would normally be entitled to at your full retirement age. If you’re unsure of the amount, consult the Benefit Statement that Social Security sent you at the beginning of the year, or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request a Benefit Statement.

If you are divorced, your ex-spouse may also be entitled to benefits. You must have been married or at least 10 years; your ex-spouse must not be currently married, and at least 62 years of age.

The payment of benefits to a spouse or ex-spouse does not reduce your own disability benefits. For a full explanation of spouse benefits, go to the Social Security web page “Disability Benefits” at htto://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html#part7, or contact Social Security directly at the 800 number above.