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How Will Marriage Affect My 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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,
Eric

Hi There,

When someone on Social Security is incarcerated, their payments are paused and can resume once they are released.

Hi Tracy,
You would not be able to do so as Medicare coverage is for individuals only.

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.

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.

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 ?

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

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...

Hi Joeyel,
I'm sorry to hear that! It's true, you may not be eligible for benefits from your parents after marriage.

I agree completely. Disabled people might be the last group of people forbidden to marry by the government at this point.

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.

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 it.so 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

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

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.

Hi Jim,
For households receiving SSI, the federal benefit limit is $1,103.

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

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.

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.

I have a friend who is a disabled adult and moved to New Orleans LA from Austin will that mess up her check

Hi There,

Nope it won't affect her check since Social Security is a federal program not a state program. However, she should notify the SSA and let them know that she is changing addresses.

-Eric

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