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Can You Receive Disability And Alimony At The Same Time

What If I Become Disabled After My Divorce

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A disability occurred after divorce can often affect a previously ordered support payment, whether that be alimony or child support. A child support order will always be modifiable so long as the children are not emancipated. If you are disabled and unable to work, then there is likely a decrease in your income which will generally change the presumed child support order.

However, whether alimony can be modified depends upon the language used within the divorce in regard to whether your alimony clause survived or merged with the judgment of divorce. If your alimony clause survived , then a subsequent disability will not allow you to seek or modify alimony.

If your alimony clause merged with the judgment of divorce, then you can potentially modify alimony because of a subsequent disability. If you were the paying spouse, you may be able to seek a decrease in the amount youre paying or terminate payments altogether. If you were the spouse receiving alimony and you become disabled, you may be able to seek a higher alimony payment or obtain an alimony award for a longer period of time than is generally allowed.

If you need a modification of a support order because of a disability incurred subsequent to a divorce, whether that be to obtain a higher payment than you were ordered or to try to lower or stop payments you were making previously, you want to file a complaint for modification and a motion for temporary orders as quickly as possible.

If You Become Disabled You Should Be Able To Get The Amount Of Child Support You Pay Lowered

If you are receiving long-term disability benefits from an LTD insurance policy, it may be difficult for you to meet your child support and alimony obligations. However, it is important that you continue to meet your obligations unless you get a modification from the court. If you are the custodial parent and receiving long-term disability benefits, you may be able to ask the court to increase the amount of child support the non-custodial parent has to pay to you. Alimony, on the other hand, may or may not be able to be modified because of long-term disability, based on the laws of your state.

Talk With Your Lawyer About Double Dipping

An issue that may arise during divorces involving disabilities is double dipping, which means a persons income or an asset is used twice in two different calculations. From another perspective, double dipping means one spouse receives payment twice from a single asset or stream of income.

For example, if the court has to calculate your child support and alimony payments, then it is important the amount you will pay for one type of support is not used in calculating your income for the other form of support.

Double dipping is also a concern when it comes to retirement savings, pension funds, business interests, and passive income.

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Does Disability Count As Income For Alimony

When courts determine alimony, they look at a number of factors. Usually, the party who pays alimony is the party that has a job and makes more income than the other spouse. Parties may receive alimony if they are physically unable to work or cannot work because they spend that time raising children. It is rare that these factors would work in such a way that someone who is already disabled would end up paying alimony. In fact, unless both spouses are disabled, the party suffering from a disability is more likely to receive alimony after a divorce than be asked to pay it.

If you were already paying alimony before you became disabled, you may need to continue paying that alimony. If a court has ordered you to pay spousal support, you cannot stop paying until the court order has changed the order. However, becoming disabled, leaving your job, and receiving disability is likely a good enough reason to support a request to change alimony. That means you can ask the court to take another look at your finances and make a new determination about who pays alimony.

When courts recalculate your income and other factors, they may not be able to include your disability payments as income for this calculation.

There are two types of disability benefits you can receive:

  • Social Security Disability , which is based on your work history and
  • Supplemental Security Income , which is need-based.
  • Under What Circumstances Could I Get Spousal Support

    Can You Qualify for SSDI and SSI Benefits?

    The court will decide if you need it and whether it is fair. The court looks at many factors for both you and your ex that include:

    • how long you were married
    • your age and health
    • how much money you can make
    • how long you went to school
    • what are your work skills
    • how much work experience you have
    • if you worked during the marriage
    • if you took care of the kids
    • if you unreasonably used up marital money
    • how the property and debt is divided, and
    • other relevant factors.

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    Modifications Of Child Support By A Disabled Non

    If you are no longer able to maintain your court-ordered child support payments because you are on long-term disability, you should ask the court to modify your child support obligation. The way this is done varies from state to state, but most courts have “self-help” centers that can assist you. Here are some examples of how long-term disability might affect a non-custodial parent’s child support obligation.

    Ms. Owens was the non-custodial parent of two minor children. Prior to becoming disabled, she earned $3,000 a month gross. Her former husband, the custodial parent, earned $5,000 a month gross. Ms. Owen’s child support obligation was approximately $595 per month for both children. After becoming injured, Ms. Owen had to quit work and went on long-term disability. Her long-term disability insurance payments were $1,590 a month, which added up to 53% of her prior income. Ms. Owens filed a motion to modify custody, and her support obligation was reduced to $358.


    Remember that these examples show estimates only. You should speak to a lawyer or contact your local court if you have questions.

    Need Help From A Galveston Divorce Attorney

    It should be noted that there are other scenarios aside from incapacity or the needs of a child where a spouse may still petition the court to award alimony, such as marriages that lasted at least 10 years or which ended due to the other spouses acts of domestic violence. But as the case above illustrates, the courts are not in the habit of granting alimony merely out of sympathy. There must still be concrete evidence that the spouse cannot meet their basic monthly expenses before maintenance payments may even be considered.

    If you are in the process of going through a divorce, it is important to have skilled representation to assist you in handling issues like requests for spousal maintenance. If you need to speak with a Galveston divorce lawyer about your situation, contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today.

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    Can I Get Alimony If I Have A Disability

    Alimony, called spousal support, is money one spouse pays the other after the divorce. Spouses can also request alimony pendente lite, which lasts for the duration of the divorce. Under Pennsylvania law, no spouse has an absolute right to alimony however, judges can award it if the circumstances warrant.

    One concern many disabled clients have is whether they can receive alimony to help cover their bills. Many people see a dramatic drop in income after divorce, and this is especially true of the disabled, many of whom have been out of the workforce for years. In this article, well take a look at different concerns that clients have regarding alimony.

    Will Alimony Reduce the Amount of Disability Benefits I Receive?

    If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, then you might be worried that they will be reduced if you receive spousal support. However, SSDI benefits are based on the amount of income you earned while working. They are not need based, so they should not be reduced if you receive spousal support payments.

    If you receive Supplemental Security Income, called SSI, then you could very well see a reduction in benefits. SSI is means tested, and the government wants to look at your income and assets when deciding whether to award SSI benefits and how much.

    Can I Get Alimony even if I Signed a Prenuptial Agreement?

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    Eligibility For Divorced Spouse’s Survivors Benefit

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    If your ex-spouse has died but was collecting disability benefits at death, you might be able to collect a survivors benefit. As a surviving divorced spouse, to be entitled to SSDI benefits, you must be:

    • at least 60 years old
    • at least 50 years old and disabled, or
    • eligible for the mother’s or father’s benefit .

    If you remarry before you turn 60 , your Social Security auxiliary benefits will be denied or canceled. After age 60 , the Social Security Administration will ignore the marriage and continue to pay SSDI benefits.

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    Bring The Motion Right Away

    The best course of action would be to bring the motion to vary the original order as soon as possible after starting to receive Social Security Disability payments. Simply finding yourself in difficult financial circumstances is not enough to change the amount owing for alimony. The longer the person waits, the more back alimony will be owed. Since you know that not having a bank account will not stop collection procedures for alimony that is owing, there isn’t an advantage to insisting on a paper check if you are on Social Security Disability benefits. If you get behind in your alimony payments while on disability, you are still subject to collection proceedings.

    These proceedings may include a withholding of your benefits. Deal with any changes to your financial situation promptly, and you can avoid this scenario.

    Am I Entitled To Alimony

    Whether or not you will be able to receive alimony depends upon your financial situation and the laws in your state.

    If your spouse worked and you stayed at home to raise children, or if you earn significantly less than your spouse, you may be able to receive alimony as part of a divorce or separation.

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    How Can A Disability Affect An Alimony Award

    Alimony payments are court-ordered payments made from one spouse to another after a divorce to help the spouse being paid the alimony support him or herself after the divorce where the paying spouse can pay the amount ordered. The general idea behind an alimony award is to enable the spouse who earns less money to maintain a lifestyle comparable to the standard shared during the marriage.

    Someone married to a partner with significant disabilities may play a large part in helping them with day-to-day tasks or supporting them financially. After a divorce, care arrangements often change, and extra services or financial support may be necessary to keep a comparable quality of life that was had during the marriage.

    Whether one spouse has a disability will generally factor into how that spouses disability affects his or her health, whether it effects his or her ability to be self-sufficient, whether they can obtain any form of employment, or whether there are additional expenses related to that spouse dealing with that disability. Having a disability can also be one of the reasons a Court might extend an alimony award past the date of the paying spouses retirement age of 67, at which time it generally would end no matter how long it was awarded for.

    So a disability can definitely affect how much support is awarded and for how long the alimony gets paid.

    Does Disability Affect Alimony

    VA Disability Rating &  SSDI Eligibility: Am I Eligible for SSDI?

    Alimony wont affect the amount you receive in SSDI benefits, but disability benefits are a factor in determining the amount of alimony you receive. Alimony payments are based on the spouses financial needs, earning potential and ability to work.

    When can a disabled spouse claim spousal benefits?

    age 62 or olderIf you are collecting Social Security Disability Insurance , your spouse can draw a benefit on that basis if you have been married for at least one continuous year and he or she is either age 62 or older or any age and caring for a child of yours who is younger than 16 or disabled.

    How does being on disability affect divorce?

    What affect does a divorce have on governmental benefits? Social Security Disability Insurance will not be affected by a divorce, but keep in mind that these benefits can be accessed for spousal maintenance or child support payments.

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    Can Disability Affect Alimony That A Court Has Already Ordered

    As mentioned above, a person who receives disability benefits may receive a reduced amount of alimony. A person who owes alimony and receives disability benefits may have their benefits affect their alimony payments. If alimony is owed and unpaid, the receiver of disability benefits may have them garnished, so their alimony orders are satisfied as much as possible. Before disability benefits are garnished, a person will receive notification within 30 days of the garnishment.

    Disability Benefits For Veterans

    You may be eligible for disability benefits if you’re on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.

    You may get social assistance payments from:

    • your province or territory
    • your First Nation

    These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.

    You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:

    • medications
    • medical aids or devices

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    Social Security Disability Payment And Divorce

    Lets say that youre the spouse receiving SSDI. In this case, your divorce will not affect your ability to receive payments. They may, however, be garnished in order to keep up with alimony payments.

    If youre the person seeking alimony, you may be eligible to receive it, even though your spouse gets SSDI payments. You do have to meet certain qualifications:

    • The marriage lasted for at least ten years.
    • You are 62 years of age or older.
    • You have not chosen to marry again.
    • You cannot get Social Security payments that are larger than possible alimony.

    Pension Paid On A Periodic Basis

    CPP Disability | Can you get ODSP and CPPD at the same time?
    • Pension amount paid periodically by month for the rest of the persons life
    • Amount can increase or decrease over time
    • Amount paid is the amount payable for the specific period, based on 5 days per week from Monday to Friday
    • The pension amount payable each month is converted to a weekly amount as follows:
    • the monthly amount is multiplied by 12
    • the result is divided by 52
    • the weekly amount is rounded to the nearest dollar

    Example 5

    Your employment ends on September 17, 2021 and you are entitled to a monthly retirement pension of $2,000 as of September 22, 2021.

    The weekly and daily pension amounts are converted as follows:

    • weekly = $2,000 x 12÷ 52 = $461.53 rounded to $462.00, and
    • daily = $462.00 ÷ 5 = $92.40

    The pension is allocated as follows:

    • from the week of September 26, 2021, $462.00 is allocated to each week until the end of the benefit period, unless the pension amount increases or decreases

    In this example, because the day on which the pension payment began is a Wednesday, the daily amount of $92.40 is multiplied by 3, for September 22, 23 and 24, 2021.

    Recommended Reading: Divorce In The United States

    Are You Eligible For Divorced Spouse’s Benefits

    If your ex-spouse became disabled, either before, during, or after the marriage, and has earned enough Social Security credits to be entitled to SSDI, as a divorced spouse, you’re qualified for benefits if you fit into either of these categories:

    • You, the divorced spouse, are 62 years old or older and were married to the disabled worker for at least ten years.
    • You, the divorced spouse, care for your ex-spouse’s child or children who are under the age of 16 or became disabled before the age of 22.

    If you remarry, your auxiliary benefits will end. In addition, if you become eligible to receive Social Security benefits on your own record, and the amount you’re eligible for is higher than your auxiliary benefit, your auxiliary SSDI benefit will end.

    Tax Consequences Of Alimony

    When considering alimony, it is important to look at the tax consequences of the payment. Significant changes to the tax treatment of alimony took effect January 1, 2019, with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

    Agreements prior to January 1, 2019: alimony is usually taxable to the recipient and deductible from the income of the payer.

    Agreements after January 1, 2019: alimony is not deductible to the payor, and is not income to the receiving spouse. Modifications of alimony agreements after January 1, 2019, will receive the same treatment as long as the modification:

    • changes the terms of the alimony, and
    • states that alimony is not deductible to the payor, and is not income to the receiving spouse.

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    How Much Ssdi Can A Divorced Spouse Of A Disabled Worker Get

    A divorced spouse generally receives 50% of the disabled worker’s primary insurance amount . But, this amount is reduced if you haven’t reached full retirement age . Also, if you’re collecting a mother’s or father’s benefit and your disabled ex’s children are collecting SSDI benefits at the same time as the divorced spouse, your benefit can be reduced. The total amount of your benefit plus the children’s benefit can’t be more than the maximum family benefit, which is generally 150% of your ex-spouse’s monthly SSDI benefit.Note that the benefits paid to a divorced spouse based on being over 60 or disabled aren’t counted toward the maximum family benefit. They won’t affect a current spouse’s or child’s benefits either. A divorced spouse’s benefit is counted toward the maximum family benefit only when the divorced spouse is receiving an SSDI benefit based on being a parent of a child under 16 .

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