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How Will Marriage Affect My Social Security Disability Benefits?

Last week, we wrote a blog post answering a question that was sent to us through Facebook. We received some great feedback and readers have suggested that they’d like us to make this a regular thing. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Tell us what questions you’d like us to answer next week! Today’s question is:

Question: How will marriage affect my disability benefits?

Getting married may affect your disability benefits in a variety of ways. This is largely dependent on what type of benefits you receive—Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

If you receive SSI benefits, you likely already know that eligibility is determined based on your income and financial resources. Once you get married, the SSA will “deem” a portion of your spouse’s income to your record. Essentially, this means that they will consider your future husband or wife’s income to be your income as well. This may significantly reduce your monthly payment or even cause the SSA to terminate your benefits altogether.

It is important to note that, if you live with your significant other but are not yet married, the SSA may still decide to deem some of your partner’s income to your record. Currently, the SSA does not deem between same-sex couples even if they are married, registered domestic partners, or have a civil union license.

Learn more about spousal deeming and how it will affect your SSI benefits, here: Spousal Deeming.

If you receive SSDI on your own earnings record, getting married will have no impact on your benefits—no matter how much money your future spouse earns. If you receive SSDI based on someone else’s earnings record, your benefits could be affected in the following ways:

  • If you receive SSDI benefits under an eligible parent’s record, getting married will cause your benefits to be terminated. The only time benefits will not be terminated in this circumstance is if you are marrying another disabled adult child.
  • If you are currently receiving SSDI benefits on the work record of an ex-spouse, your benefits will be terminated if you remarry. This also applies to individuals who receive SSDI on the record of a deceased ex-spouse who remarry before age 50 if disabled, and before age 60 if not disabled.

Before you make any decisions regarding marriage or disability benefits, you should always consult with an SSA representative. That way, you can avoid unknowingly compromising your benefits. Please feel free to leave additional questions or comments in the section below and we will try our best to answer each of your questions.

Submitted By: Molly Clarke

Comments

But disabled person over 50 can not get benefits on husband's record UNLESS he is eligible and has filed for his or her social security benefits!

Hi Mary Smith!
Thank you for sharing! It's true that those are the criteria for getting benefits on a spouse's record.

Hi Shron,
If you get married your benefit rates may change from the individual rate to the couple's benefit rate.

my husband getting ssdi 2,500 monthly and we apply for my daughter but because I'm qualify we apply 50% of his ssdi split with me and my daughter.If i don't apply my daughter will get the 50%..my husband has pension too 3,300 monthly ..plus the amount I'm getting now we have almost 80,00 yrs income instead of less..should i left all 50% for my daughter for the sake of yearly income thanks

If your ONLY monetary resource is SSI and you get married to someone temporarily on SSI and that is also their ONLY income, does the "couples rate" still apply?

Hi Lisa,
Yes, the SSA will still use your combined income to calculate your eligibility for benefits.

If i been on ssdi for two years and been married to my wife who will be getting ssi .will my ssdi be decreased and increase hers to make her and my ssi be equal in payment.

Hi there,
If you're getting benefits based on your work history, your benefits may not change based on marriage.

so i want to know if im already receiving ssi ssdi can my furture wife still let me get both of my checks

Hi Mark,
Your SSDI may continue, but your SSI benefits may change because eligibility is determined by combined income for spouses.

Hi Mary,
If you're on SSDI and you get married, your benefits will not be affected. You do need to report that you got married, however.

Can I get married and how will impact my disability checks I get disability and ssdi. Cause I worked but Iam on disability so how my boyfriend job impact my checks

Hi Mickie,
If you are on SSDI, your boyfriend's disability checks will not affect your payments.

Hello. I'm currently 18 years old and have been on SSI since 2013 due to the fact that throughout my life, I've had multiple excruciating and chronic health problems, to date. I have also had multiple surgeries, hernias, etc. Both my girlfriend of 5 years, and I will be attending college this year in August. She lives about an hour away from me, and from the school we will be attending, since it's near my parents house. I plan to ask her to marry me soon, and we will be living in my parents house because my mom is the one who takes me to doctors appointments, and does everything in regards to me currently. Would I still get the social security benifit a if my girlfriend and I get married?

Hi Rick,
You may be able to based on your income and resources, however once you get married your income and resources are calculated combined with your spouse's.

My fiance and I would like to get married. She was drawing disability for 8 months this year, if her and I get married will I have to play taxes on that 8mos

Hi Christopher,
No, you will not need to pay taxes on disability benefits unless she gets more than $30,000 per year in benefits.

Hi Linda,
If you file individually, you may not have enough income under SSDI to owe taxes.

Hi Linda,
If you file individually, you may not have enough income under SSDI to owe taxes.

Hi Sarah,
It could. Marriage could affect your SSI eligibility entirely, but not your SSDI.

Hi, my long time partner and I just got married. We are both on SSDI. Will we both be able to still receive our incomes and Medicare insurance? What about food stamps? We are from Michigan and have been living together for awhile but do not buy the same food as I am a vegetarian. Thanks for your help.

Hi Todd,
I am not sure about food stamps, because those are run by the state. But you will both be able to keep your SSDI benefits.

I am on my own SSDI. I am 65. If I marry a person receiving regular SS retirement
Will her regular SS retirement be affected by my SSDI income ? She is 63yrs.

I am 65 and planning on marrying my GF she is 53 and on FMLA but still working,
How will this effect us in tax does her income go on mine when filing and will I have to pay tax on my SS I was on SSDI and went on SS when I reached 64 I do believe
Or do we have to file jointly or separately she also has a teenage daughter 16 that is her dependent

Hope this explains it

Dan

Hi Dan,
SS benefits do not need to be taxed unless you are earning more than $24,000 per year as an individual or $30ish thousand as a couple (only SS earnings). So I do not believe that your income would be taxed. If you're married, you will need to file jointly regardless.

Hi Susan,
That may affect your benefits because SSI is calculated based on household income for married people, and they would use your combined income to calculate your benefits.

My fiancee is disabled and so am I. We both receive Sicial Security Disability. If we get married, will it affect our benefits?

Hi Debbie,
If both of you are getting SSDI benefits, it will have no effect on your benefits. if one or both of you are receiving SSI benefits, then may experience a change in your benefits.

I just found out that my fiance and I will not be able to afford to marry because his only income is from ssi while mine is from ssd. This is.a government bent on destroying marriage!

I just got married I receive ssdi and my wife makes about 5k at the most will it stop her or my medical help and financial support she has 3 children from previous partner I was wondering if it hurts us even though we are still struggling any cuts will result in 5 people homeless because we are bearly getting by now please help with what I should do God bless u any info will help

Hi Harold,
If you're getting SSDI, you should be fine, as SSDI is based off your own work record rather than your income and resources, so it's unaffected by marriage.

I just did not want to put my love one at Rock of even more poverty they have to eat and have a roof over there heads im just scared my love might hurt the income

I have been disable for many years now , but I have meet someone I really love and want to marry but don't want him to have to pay everything if they take away my SSI I will only receive 500 a month income with he's retirement benefits it still would only be 2500 and what about all my medical

Hi Jana,
Because he's on retirement benefits, you might not lose your SSI benefits. You should call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to discuss your options.

Hello I'm 20 Year Almost 21 My Question is I recive SSI And I'm getting married my fiancé work as delivery guy if i get married those that affect my SSI?

Hi Alejandra,
It would. If he's earning more than $1,100 per month, you will no longer be eligible for SSI benefits.

Hi Corey,
Because he's on SSDI, he will not lose any benefits. Because gay marriage is legal by federal law, your genders also do not matter.

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