Benefits provided by the Social Security Administration are generally specific to the person receiving the benefit. However, there are instances where spouses are entitled to one another’s benefits, and this can really make a difference in finances if you qualify and your spouse’s benefits are greater than yours. The most common examples of spousal benefits include survivor’s benefits, and social security payments upon death of a spouse. To get these benefits certain conditions must be met, and asking an attorney for help when seeking your spouse’s payments is advisable. But what do you do if you are not “married”? The answer may vary, depending on where you live.
While social security benefits are granted by the federal government, there is some interplay between state and federal law in instances of civil unions and domestic partnerships. Things to remember when seeking benefits from a relationship defined as non-traditional are:
- What your specific state allows by way of common law marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions, and same-sex marriage.
- What type of benefit you are seeking.
- Whether your spouse is living or deceased.
The Social Security Administration does not follow a certain set of rules when looking at applications for spousal benefits in marriages or relationships considered non-traditional. Every case will be looked at on its own, and in accordance with the state law where the relationship was formed. This is new ground for the SSA and having a skilled attorney present your case for you will increase your chances of success. Let us take a look at your case, examine the facts, and give you the advice you need to decide whether to seek spousal benefits. It is also important to remember that if you are seeking SSI payments, the deciding factor is your level of income. If you are “married” your spouse’s income can be considered and this may push you past the minimum level of income. If that is the case, your financial position may not improve by seeking spousal benefits. Every case is unique, and we are here to explain yours to you.
If you have questions about disability benefits for spouses in non-marital relationships, call us today. We can be contacted online or by phone at 855-727-6353.