Life can be full of trials and tribulations, especially if you have a disability. According to the research, 2.9 percent of people in California have a hearing disability, as of 2020. California provides SSDI to disabled people and their families to make things easier. But the question is whether ex-spouses are eligible for SSDI benefits. The answer is, of course, yes.

However, it is not as simple as it appears. Here, we will explain the process in detail and how you can get help from social security disability lawyers who can make the entire process less stressful. You can also get legal help with this calculator here.

SSDI benefits are determined based on the individual’s disability and work credits. It is not just for the spouse or ex-spouse but also for the children. Auxiliary benefits are the benefits an individual receives due to their spouse’s disability.

The process of getting auxiliary benefits is quite complicated and has specific requirements to abide by. This is the point where disability lawyers come into action to help you in applying for insurance.

The first step for claiming the benefits is identifying how to qualify for SSDI in CA. Only one can claim the auxiliary benefits if your spouse qualifies for the SSDI. This blog will guide you about the eligibility requirements and all the important keynotes.

What are the SSDI Criteria in CA?

In California, an individual must have at least 40 work credits to qualify for SSDI. Half of the credits must have been earned in the ten years preceding the disability. There are some exceptions if the disabled person is under the age of 24.

According to the state of California, disability refers to a person physically or mentally being incapable of earning a living. Another focus is that the illness should have lasted or will last at least 12 months. 

According to the state, diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and lateral sclerosis are also considered disabilities. The social security disability lawyers will let you know whether you are eligible or not to apply for the benefit.

The disability claim can be rejected for many reasons. Some of the main reasons are:

  • Not meeting the requirements set by the state.
  • Not able to provide the medical documents.

It is advisable to follow the instructions given by SSD lawyers as they can find a way to help and handle things correctly.

What are the Requirements for Divorced Spouse Social Security Disability Benefits?

Certain criteria need to be fulfilled to receive the perks of ex-spouse SSDI.

  • The marriage contract must have been for 10 years.
  • No benefits are received if you have remarried.
  • The individual again becomes eligible for the perks if the second marriage ends due to divorce or death.
  • The individual must be at least 62 years old.
  • The disability benefits are also granted if the individual takes care of the disabled spouse’s children below 18.
  • You will be paid a higher amount for both if you receive benefits in exchange for your work. The individual will not be eligible for both benefits.
  • Your ex-spouse doesn’t need to retire for you to claim the benefits, but in this case, the divorce needs to be at least 2 years old.

How Much Money Will a Divorced Spouse Get as Social Security Disability Benefits?

A divorced spouse receives half of the total amount of SSDI. However, in some cases, if the amount is reduced, they are given additional benefits. If you are under retirement age, the amount may get reduced to 32.5%. 

The age of retirement is 66 years and 2 months. Keeping this in mind, you should apply for it three months before you plan to retire.

If you intend to apply, disability claim lawyers can help you navigate the process. Their knowledge and ability to make claims will make the process a breeze.

Criteria to Claim Social Security Benefits When Your Spouse Is Not Getting Benefits

The situation becomes even more complicated if the disabled spouse has not yet applied for benefits. In this case, the criteria are altered. Both spouses must be 62 years old or older to be eligible for the benefit.

To sum it up, they should have been married for ten years, and the divorce must have occurred at least two years before filing for insurance. However, if they were disabled before the divorce, the condition does not apply.

What if the Spouse Dies?

If the disabled ex-spouse is no longer alive, the individual can claim for the survivor’s benefit. But to gain the survivors’ perks, certain requirements need to be fulfilled:

  • The individual should be above the age of 62.
  • If one remarries before the age of 60, they cannot claim for the benefit; however, after the age of 60, the remarriage is ignored.

Whether the spouse is alive or deceased, the benefits are the same in both cases. But if the person does not fulfill the age requirement, then be prepared. According to the state’s law, the amount can get reduced to 30%.

How to Apply?

Some documents are needed to prove the claim to apply for the SSDI benefits. One needs the following list of documents:

  • Marriage contract certificate
  • Birth certificate of the one applying
  • Divorce Contract
  • Security number of both the spouses
  • Banking details for deposit purposes

Even after submitting all the documents, the application can get rejected. The reason for the cancellation is the lack of knowledge. It is a legal matter, and you cannot expect to know everything even after doing the research.

It is crucial to hire a representative. The lawyers for disability claims will be responsible for skimming the important medical and other information. It is the job of SSD lawyers to submit the documents on time. 

One of the crucial roles of SSD lawyers is to collect medical evidence. Many people fail to gather them because the doctors don’t take them seriously. It is suggested to hire a lawyer who knows all the legal processes and helps you in making your claim effectively.


Many people have divorced disabled spouses but are unaware of SSDI benefits. Different states have different requirements and benefits. However, if you meet all the requirements, the government will assist you in obtaining SSDI benefits.

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