I am caring for a disabled child. Am I eligible for ex-spousal benefits if my ex has not collected yet?

Published: March 14, 2023

Full question: Can you draw disability Social Security off of ex husband that isn’t drawing yet and you are taking care of his disabled child?


Thank you for the question about divorced spousal benefits.

If you are divorced and were married for at least 10 years you may be eligible for ex-spousal benefits.

If your ex-spouse qualifies for Social Security disability benefits, we assume he is collecting them so you may be referring to some other disability insurance. If you are referring to him collecting his Social Security retirement benefits, you would need to be divorced for at least two years to be “independently entitled” to spousal benefits based on his Social Security earnings record.

Your ex-spouse needs to be at least 62 years old to collect his retirement benefit.

If all of those are true, you may be eligible to collect a child-in-care spousal benefit at any age if you are taking care of a child under the age of 18 or 19 (if they are still in High School) or a disabled adult child if they became disabled before the age of 22.

The child may also be eligible for child benefits. The amount is usually up to 50% of your ex-spouse’s PIA but may be subject to family maximum benefit limits.

Please email us at help@rssa.com to schedule a consultation and learn more about how an analysis can give you exact answers and amounts of benefits you are entitled to.

Take care,

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