Can My Ex-Wife Collect Social Security Disability on My Records?

Even after the divorce, you and your ex may be connected by Social Security.
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Regardless of how acrimonious a divorce, the legal dissolution of a marriage doesn't end the rights your ex-wife has to use your work records to enhance her retirement via Social Security. As long as you and your former spouse were married for at least 10 years, she's eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits based on your records if she's 62 or older. However, this can change if she decides to tie the knot again.

Still Connected By Social Security

A former spouse can receive benefits courtesy of your records as long as she remains single. She'll collect only if the benefits she's entitled to receive based on her own work history are less than what she'd receive by collecting benefits based on your disability. Even if you haven't yet applied for Social Security Disability but are eligible to do, she still has the right to collect. She can also collect after you remarry – as can your new spouse, if desired. However, if your ex-wife remarries, she'll generally have to stop collecting on your Social Security disability as long as that marriage lasts. Even if she's collecting on your record, you may not find out about it – the Social Security Administration doesn't notify you of that request.

Effect on You

No matter how much your former spouse may receive in SSDI benefits, there is no effect on the amount of benefits you or your current family members may receive.