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When Tennesseeans divorce, their dissolutions may impact their ability to receive Social Security Disability benefits. People who are receiving SSDI benefits based on their own work records should continue to receive them regardless of their divorces. Children may receive dependent benefits in addition to their parents’ SSDI amounts. However, the parents may have their benefits reduced by the federal government if they owe back child support. Spouses who meet the eligibility requirements may recover spousal benefits based on their exes’ disability benefits. If an ex-spouse is approved for divorced spouse benefits, it will not affect the amount that the other person receives.

SSDI Benefits for Divorced Spouses

Some spouses of SSDI recipients who divorce may be eligible to receive spousal benefits based on their ex-spouses’ SSDI payments. Ex-spouses may qualify based on the records of their former spouses even if their former spouses have gotten married again. They must meet the eligibility requirements to recover spousal benefits, however. They must have been married for 10 years or longer, be over the age of 62, be unmarried and not be eligible to receive a higher amount based on their own or another person’s record. If an eligible spouse applies for and is approved for divorced spouse benefits, the original SSDI recipient’s monthly benefits amount will not be affected.

Child Support and SSDI

When a couple gets divorced, the children may be eligible for dependent benefits in addition to what the recipient parents receive. To be eligible, children must be under the age of 18 or up to age 19 if the children are finishing 12th grade. Children up to age 22 who are also disabled may also be eligible for dependent benefits. While the state of Tennessee does not have the power to garnish Social Security Disability benefits to pay child support payments, the federal government may do so if the payor parent who receives SSDI owes back child support. Parents whose financial circumstances have changed since they divorced and who are receiving SSDI may want to file requests to modify their child support amounts so that their benefits are not impacted.