Q: I have been married since 1993. I have been on disability since 2003. Our divorce was filed in 2003 but has not been finalized. Can I get a portion of his 401k and keep my disability payments. (Swisshelm Park, PA)
A: It depends what type of disability you are on. Some benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are “needs based” which means that the there are specific income and asset limits a person must meet to be eligible. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare are based on age and/or disability status, are not needs based, and do not have the same income assets limitation in order for one to be eligible. You need to determine which one you are on and would benefit from a consultation with an elder law attorney. If you are certain you are on SSDI, you should be fine. If you are on SSI, an elder law attorney may be able to limit the impact your receiving the 401k will have by advising you how to shelter some of the 401k money and keep the benefits. It would be worth the consultation.