Social Security disability benefits, or SSDI benefits, are available to individuals who meet certain qualifications. Generally speaking, if you currently receive SSDI benefits, your spouse may continue working because the determining eligibility factor for benefits is your personal work record – rather than your household’s income. If your spouse continues working, that fact will not affect your eligibility for SSDI benefits.
If you believe that you are eligible for SSDI benefits, or your benefits request was denied, you have certain legal rights. A knowledgeable Orange County SSDI social security disability lawyer in your area can meet with you to discuss your situation, determine your eligibility for benefits, and help you file the necessary documents to pursue the benefits you deserve.
Definition of “Spouse” for SSDI Benefit Purposes
Not everyone fits the definition of “spouse” when it comes to eligibility for SSDI benefits. In the eyes of the Social Security Administration (SSA), individuals are spouses if they currently live together and are legally married. However, individuals who live with significant others or romantic partners – but who are not legally married – are not spouses in the SSA’s eyes. The same is true for individuals who are in a civil union or domestic partnership.
Qualifying for the SSDI Benefits You Need
Regardless of whether your spouse currently works, you must meet several requirements to qualify for SSDI benefits. First of all, you must have a medical condition that a healthcare provider has determined – to a reasonable degree of medical certainty – will last for a minimum of one year. Alternatively, your medical condition must be one that is likely to result in death.
Moreover, to be eligible for benefits, your medical condition must prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A healthcare provider must determine that due to your long-term injury or medical condition, you are unable to work at any job or in any capacity – such as light-duty work.
Also, to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked for a long enough period. Generally speaking, you pay more into the Social Security system the longer you work. Consequently, a disabled spouse who applies for SSDI benefits may have a better chance of receiving benefits because either themselves – or their spouse – will have paid into the Social Security system for a longer time.
Moreover, in certain scenarios, a disabled spouse might be eligible to recover 50 percent of the amount of their eligible benefits – based upon the employment history of their working spouse – at 62 years of age or more.
Call an Experienced SSDI Benefits Lawyer in Your Area Today
If you are currently wondering about your eligibility for SSDI benefits, you should speak with a California lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can review your medical and financial circumstances with you, determine your eligibility for SSDI benefits, and help you file the necessary paperwork for the benefits you need. If your application for SSDI benefits was denied, your lawyer could help you appeal that decision in certain circumstances.