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Can I draw ss disability from my husband even though I draw ss disability of my own?

Dayton, OH |

I am 63 years old and draw $498 disability ss. My husband is 59 years old and draws ss disabilityas well. We can barely make ends meet so I wondering if I am entitled to draw anything from his ss?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Probably not but you should talk to someone at your local social security office who can look at all of your information on their computer and make sure that all their information is correct and that you are getting the correct amount. Given your situation you should contact local health and human services agencies to see if there is anything state or local that you might also qualify for.


  2. Yes, you are entitled to draw something off your husband's earnings record, but I can't tell you how much. It depends on how much his benefits are, on your exact age, and on what type of benefits you and your husband are currently drawing (SSI or SSDI).

    If both of you are on SSDI (in a nutshell, benefits for people who worked up until they became disabled), a good rule of thumb to start is to assume you would be eligible for about 50% of what your husband currently draws, to start with. But, because you're approximately 3 years away from your normal retirement age, any benefits you draw would be reduced by about 20%. So you're probably eligible for about 40% of what your husband draws, in total.

    Here's the catch, though - you can only draw the higher of the two benefits. So if the $500 you currently draw based on your disability is more than the amount you'd draw off your husband, you will just keep getting your own benefit, and get nothing from your husband. In other words, if your husband's benefit is about $1300 or more, then you might get more per month drawing off his earnings record. If he gets less than that, then you probably wouldn't get anything extra by drawing off him.

    That said, it's worth calling Social Security to ask about this, and possibly discussing it with a Social Security attorney. The situation gets more complicated, and the answer to your question might change, if you're getting an SSI disability benefit rather than an SSDI benefit (if you don't know which one you draw, Social Security can tell you).

    Jeremy Bordelon is a licensed attorney in the State of Tennessee only, and is authorized to practice in all Tennessee State and Federal courts, and before the Social Security Administration in any jurisdiction. Please call our firm at 1-866-959-5362 if you would like to discuss your case in more detail. The answers provided on Avvo.com are for information purposes only, and should not be relied on as legal advice. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. In some jurisdictions, this answer may be construed as attorney advertising.

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