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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

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.

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 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.

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

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.

So I have a few questions. My soon to be husband(next week) gets ssi?? He was in a accident at age 18 we r going on our 4 the kid together... When we get married will he get more money for me and the kids?? and can we draw off of his ssi.

Hi there,
No actually, if anything he might LOSE his benefits. This is because SSI recipients haven't paid anything in Social Security taxes and are not entitled to additional benefits for their family. SSDI recipients have paid taxes and are thus able to get additional benefits for their family.

I get disability, I worked so I don't get ssi for me. But they send me a check for my son. A ssi check just becuz he's underage. If I get married will his check be affected

Hi Em,
Possibly not! But if your new spouse has a high income, your son may become disqualified from disability benefits.

Hi,
I receive ssi and my girlfriend is pregnant and I do want to marry her. Will that effect my ssi ? She doesn't work but after the baby is here and she is a stay at home mom she will be working. Will it take into effect after ?

Hi Jay,
If you live with your girlfriend and she isn't working, this shouldn't affect your SSI. If you live with your girlfriend and she IS working and earning more than $733 per month, you could lose your benefits.

Hi, I would like to know -- I am currently working and got paid low income end up I have SSI but I wonder if I get married to my lady who have SSDI, it will affect my SSI? We aren't jointly accounts with the banks.

Hi Xandie,
Your payments may be lowered, but because she is disabled as well, you likely will NOT lose your SSI payments.

My boyfriend who is serving a life sentence wants to get married how and unable to provide for me money wise, will this affect my SSI?

My boyfriend receives disability and we would like to get married I only work part time will his check be effected if we do

I went to court and won my appeal case for ssi and then got a letter saying that my spouce makes too much to get benefits is that legal.

Hi Gennee,
That's odd that they would approve you without looking at your spouses' income, but yes, that can certainly happen.

I have two children, my son has been receiving ssi for his whole life. I'd really like to marry my best friend but am afraid I will lose what little help I receive for my child. If we were to get married and move in together we would have 5 kids total living with us full time. How does that affect and other parties income affect my child's ssi?

Hi Michelle,
If you have two adults in the household and 5 children total (4 who are not disabled), you both cannot earn more than $5,259 per month combined and still qualify for SSI benefits.

i'm 52 and receive social security disability and want to get married. my girlfriend works but only makes about 2000 monthly. my disability is from my own earnings. will I lose any of my benefits ..money or medical?

Hi Darla,
You will not have any issues so long as you are on SSDI benefits. You will not lose your benefits or medical insurance.

Hi I am receiving SSDI disability (age 44 - my own work record) and I also receive QMB medicaid. My boyfriend is also receiving SSDI disability (age 47 - from his parents work record). We are both on Medicare as well. What would happen to our benefits when we get married? I know that I will not lose my SSDI, but I am not sure about my medicaid/medicare and my boyfriend's SSDI benefits and Medicare. Please help.

~Kevin

Hi Kevin,
I do not believe that your Medicare will be affected by marriage! If anything, your premiums might go down, so this could be a good thing.

Thanks, it would be nice if the premiums go down. Would my boyfriends SSDI be affected by marriage? He draws from his dads work record. We want to be sure before we make plans to get married. We cannot afford any loss of income right now due to hard times. I am sure this is common these days. Thanks in advance for your help. ~ Kevin & Michael

Hi Kevin,
Yes! He will lose his benefits if he is drawing on his dad's records and not his own. I'm assuming he's a disabled adult child. They cannot continue to receive benefits after marriage. You should find out if he could qualify for SSI on his own before you get married, as you would lose all of his income unfortunately.

Hi Jen,
Your SSI payment will potentially drop if there is any forms of income in the household that could affect you, such as stocks or cash or other assets like those. His benefits will stay the same..

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