How Will Marriage Affect My Disability Benefits?

Submitted by Daniel on Thu, 06/20/2013 - 11:27

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.

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

Blog comments

Ashley (not verified)

In reply to by mary smith (not verified)

So I am on ssn diablesincedi2011.. If I re.marry and my partner is getting ssd. But will b 61 by that time n he is on ssd currently. By this time he will be getting ready to get his ssa. What will I eligable forb
.I a56 this year..???pls advice me

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 15:24 Permalink

In reply to by Ashley (not verified)

Hi Ashley,
You may be eligible for benefits based off of your spouse's work record if you would receive a larger amount than from your own disability benefits.

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 10:22 Permalink
Taci (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

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 husband has pension too 3,300 monthly 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

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 18:50 Permalink
Lisa (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

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?

Sat, 10/01/2016 - 22:47 Permalink

In reply to by Lisa (not verified)

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

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 15:59 Permalink
Charles (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

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.

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 07:10 Permalink
Fayette (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

My benifits comes on the 3rd of the month and I get a small check on the 1st the person that I will marrie gets no bebifits and we will be married before he is eligible for his by 1 year and 5 months how would marriage effect was with only my income

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 01:41 Permalink

In reply to by Fayette (not verified)

Hi Fayette,

If you are on SSDI, then getting married will not affect your benefits.

If you receive SSI benefits, once you get married, the SSA will “deem” a portion of your spouse’s income to your record. 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.

Best of Luck,

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:43 Permalink
Charlisa Buell (not verified)

In reply to by Fayette (not verified)

I'm on disibility and get it on the 3rd of each month I want to marry a man with no income but is trying for disability his self will it affect my disability ?I'm 59 yrs old

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 17:30 Permalink

In reply to by Charlisa Buell (not verified)

Hi Charlisa,

If you are receiving SSI and get married and he is approved for disability then you SSI may be reduced or stopped depending on the amount he is awarded. If you are receiving SSDI, then you should be fine.

Fri, 06/12/2020 - 14:25 Permalink

In reply to by Bertha White (not verified)

Hi Bertha,

If he is on SSI, then his benefits may be stopped or reduced depending on your monthly income. SSI is based on household income, so a spouse's income will count.

Fri, 08/21/2020 - 14:43 Permalink
Michael Hatcher (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

I am 63, almost 64 and draw Ssdisability on my own. I married a lady that was 58 at end of December 2016. During the holidays, she contracted bacterial pneumonia and passed away in the hospital Jan 5 2017. How will this affect my benefits? She had worked all her life and I feel certain she paid in substantially to social security over her life.

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 15:24 Permalink

In reply to by Michael Hatcher (not verified)

Hi Michael,
I am very sorry to hear that. I am not sure you will be eligible for survivors' benefits--You usually need to have been married for at least one year to be eligible for any kind of Social Security benefits.

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 08:36 Permalink
angel (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

hi if i get married for my first time...and im on surviving spouse frm my father social security will they take it or what ?

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 00:13 Permalink

In reply to by angel (not verified)

Hi Angel,
If you're receiving survivor's benefits based off of your parent's work record, you may lose those benefits after marriage.

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 10:54 Permalink
Joeyel (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

I really dont think its fair... just because we get married does not make us non disabled... its so stupid that i have to spend my life alone in order to keep my fathers benifits that HE worked 45+ years for...

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 12:36 Permalink
Nancy Hollebrand (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Widowed at age 45 my husband was on SSDI.I remarried at age 48 divorced by age 55.I became disabled at age 58 and remarried that year.My current hub and worked for USPO less than $200. A month SSI.Do I qualify for my first husbands SSDI benefit.We were married 19 years.I am now 66 my SSDI has reverted over to SSI.

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 16:57 Permalink
Donna sullivan (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I was a victim of that! I'm 1999 I got married I was disabled so was my husband. Got a letter stating all my stuff was stopping I hit rock bottem how were we going to live so I went to college an took can cause I love science an knew I could pass I did that an applied at a rest home an let them know I was in school got the job. I worked for 9 years. Which was really. Hard on me but had no choice an all. One day at a pt. Home I fell an hurt my back an at that point home health fired me due to getting hurt an getting money I guess. An I applied an got it going again. I still say the government should give me some money back for that. They weren't suppose to do that we are both disabled an all. It sucks how we get scwed an labeled caz we are disabled. All I can say is God sees all an they'll get theirs one day

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 22:54 Permalink
david (not verified)

In reply to by angel (not verified)

Hello I'm 43 and have generalized dystonia incurable muscle disease I have a difficult time walking I've had since the age of 11 I believe I collect under my dad if I marry will I lose all of this. The money I received an especially your insurance is extremely important I have a yearly operation to replace a neurostimulator that helps me walk I really need this and very worried I may lose it

Sat, 06/03/2017 - 18:05 Permalink

In reply to by david (not verified)

Hi David,
Marriage may change your benefits eligibility. It may be a good idea to contact your local SSA office regarding this, as they can give you information about your specific case.

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 12:32 Permalink
Jackson B. Pow… (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

I was just wondering if me and other person get married wounded that hurt my check and hers. I've been on disability since I was nine months old she got hurt on the job years ago. Would that hurt my check or hers

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 17:40 Permalink

In reply to by Jackson B. Pow… (not verified)

Hi Jackson,

Marriage shouldn't affect SSDI. But if you are receiving SSI then it may. SSI is based on household income so a spouse's benefits can cause your SSI to be reduced or stopped.

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:30 Permalink

In reply to by mark coats (not verified)

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

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 10:49 Permalink

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