How Will Marriage Affect My Disability Benefits?

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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

Angela tarrar (not verified)

What if you recieved ssd an

What if you recieved ssd an got married to a spous that have no income can i get extra on my ssd

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 09:15 Permalink

In reply to by Angela tarrar (not verified)

Hi Angela,

Hi Angela,
spouses are eligible for benefits under certain circumstances, but they are not eligible based soley on lack of income.

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 09:24 Permalink
Sue (not verified)

I received ssi/ssdi and my

I received ssi/ssdi and my spouse makes 10,100 a year. Would my ssi/ssdi payments be 0? Aside from this have part time job make 680 and get small ssi anount.

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 15:06 Permalink

In reply to by Sue (not verified)

Hi Sue,

Hi Sue,
I would not be able to say as we are not affiliated with the SSA. However, that does seem like a small enough amount that you may be eligible for SSI benefits.

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 16:39 Permalink
erin (not verified)

I'm currently on social

I'm currently on social security disability I'm 35 and ï also get it for my 6 ye old. I'm engaged he's on work comp and it the yrs it switches to ssd. If we get married will we lose anything?

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 23:41 Permalink

In reply to by erin (not verified)

Hi Erin,

Hi Erin,
If you're on SSDI benefits based off of your work record, then you may not have any reduction in benefits after marriage.

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 09:28 Permalink
Mary (not verified)

I am married and I get social

I am married and I get social security and ssi and I got a disability son who gets ssi, but my husband moved in with his mom and she gets ssi and got on lease with her but still on lease here but my husband applying for social security will it still affect my income

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 00:35 Permalink

In reply to by Mary (not verified)

Hi Mary,

Hi Mary,
You may want to contact the SSA, they can best advise you as to how your benefits will be moving forward.

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 09:29 Permalink
sharon (not verified)

Hi i was living in BC and am

Hi i was living in BC and am now in saskatoon living with my boyfriend who is on disability, i was on welfare in BC due to i have severe arthritis in both knees. Can i be added to my boy friends check we are engaged, i have lived here with him for 2 months now,having trouble making ends meet,waiting on your response Thank you ps i dont get any money at all now

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 14:45 Permalink

In reply to by sharon (not verified)

Hi Sharon,

Hi Sharon,
Unfortunately, we don't really know much at all about Canada's benefits system, and as such I wouldn't be comfortable assessing your eligibility for benefits.

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 16:11 Permalink
Grady (not verified)

If i recieve ssdi and my

If i recieve ssdi and my partner gets ssdi. We are thinking of getting married but I worry about if this will change our income. We are both receiving ssdi from accidents on the job. Will it change our income

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 06:27 Permalink

In reply to by Grady (not verified)

Hi Grady,

Hi Grady,
SSDI benefits are based off of work record, rather than income, so two people who both get SSDI benefits and get married may have no change in their benefits at all.

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 09:28 Permalink
Suzanne C. (not verified)

I get SSDI, but I'm

I get SSDI, but I'm still at a low enough income to need medicaid and food stamps. I don't mind loosing the food stamps, but because my medical treatments and medications are very costly, it would be a disaster to loose my medicaid benefit. My boyfriend makes about 35,000 after taxes and we want to marry, but are afraid if we did, I'd loose my medicaid. We live in Wisconsin, which is a common-law state as well. I'm also in the process of having my student loans dismissed to to the severity of my disability and being unable to work. Would getting married force him to pay back my student loans and any other outstanding debts I have? Does this also mean it would drop his credit rating due to all my outstanding medical bills and other loans I can't pay? Is there anything legal I can do to protect him from that and keep my benefits as a married couple? If so, what?

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 11:03 Permalink
Julie (not verified)

ive been receiving disability

ive been receiving disability SSD for about 12 yrs and I plan on getting married in 3 weeks. ive talked to someone over at the ssd office and asked them the question of whos insurance would be used first his or mine, she said mine would be primary and i can use his after, but today i call his insurance and im told the oppisite and will have copays , im 53and not able to get that other type of insurance. im a really sick person with lots of medical bills and thought with 2 insurance i should be good. I thought they work with each other? im pretty sure i dont get totle disability even though with all the issues i have i should.

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:29 Permalink
karmen (not verified)

My husband has been disabled

My husband has been disabled since birth and we have a child under a year will his benefits go up or get taken away?

Mon, 09/05/2016 - 16:22 Permalink

In reply to by karmen (not verified)

Hi Karmen,

Hi Karmen,
Your child may be eligible for benefits based off your husband's work record, you can contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or at for more information.

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 09:46 Permalink
Miss C (not verified)


I'm currently receiving SSD. My fiance has just applied for SSI. I know that my benefits will stay the same...but will he receive less once we are married? I'm only making $837 a month. Thank you for your time.

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 02:19 Permalink

In reply to by Miss C (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
SSI benefits are calculated based off of household income, and as such your future spouse's benefits would be based off of both his and your combined income.

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 09:49 Permalink
Stacey Green (not verified)

I want to get married and I

I want to get married and I am disabled and receiving benefits... Will my benefits change.... Getting married doesn't make me undisabled so I'm just curious on how it works...

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 20:23 Permalink

In reply to by Stacey Green (not verified)

Hi Stacey,

Hi Stacey,
If you're receiving income based SSI benefits, then your benefits would be recalculated based on household income. If you're receiving SSDI benefits based off of work history, then your benefits may not change at all.

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 09:43 Permalink
Donna (not verified)

If the person you marry would

If the person you marry would have higher Ssdi benefits for a spouse than the new spouses own record and SSDI, could you change and draw the amount eligible for as the spouse ?

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 20:48 Permalink

In reply to by Donna (not verified)

Hi Donna,

Hi Donna,
Under certain circumstances, yes a spouse can draw SSDI benefits based on their spouse's work history. However you may not be able to do that in every case.

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 09:46 Permalink
Tracie (not verified)

I just started receiving ssdi

I just started receiving ssdi and just recently got married. Will it affect my benefits and what are the requirement for spousal benefits? He is the father of my child that receives a dependent check.

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 22:03 Permalink
Brittany m (not verified)

If your husband is on dis and

If your husband is on dis and yall get married but you sick and not able to work right now can does he get more or less??

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 10:10 Permalink

In reply to by Brittany m (not verified)

Hi Brittany,

Hi Brittany,
If your husband is receiving SSI he may receive an increase as those benefits are income-based, however if he is on SSDI then he may not as those benefits are based on work record.

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 10:46 Permalink
Kim Schultz (not verified)

I was wondering if I get SSD

I was wondering if I get SSD do I have to be on Medicare or can my husband add me to his work insurance plan? I can't afford some of my meds because I fall into the so called "Insurance Donut"!!! Just wanted to know if this would affect anything if I turned down SSDI.

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 11:26 Permalink

In reply to by Kim Schultz (not verified)

Hi Kim,

Hi Kim,
You are automatically enrolled in Medicare after two years on SSDI benefits, however you may be able to have coverage with your husband's plan as well at the same time.

Tue, 09/13/2016 - 09:43 Permalink
Jacqueline (not verified)

Will my spouses SSDI benefits

Will my spouses SSDI benefits affect my taxable income and student loan payment plan?

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 22:01 Permalink

In reply to by Jacqueline (not verified)

Hi Jaqueline,

Hi Jaqueline,
It may if your household income is significantly changed by your husband's SSDI benefits.

Tue, 09/13/2016 - 09:44 Permalink
Veronica detommaso (not verified)

I get ssd from other marriage

I get ssd from other marriage my nw boyfriend get ssi if we marry will his ssi increase

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 21:34 Permalink

In reply to by Veronica detommaso (not verified)

Hi Veronica,

Hi Veronica,
Both your eligibility for SSDI benefits and your boyfriend's SSI benefits may change after marriage, but I would not be able to say it would increase with any certainty.

Tue, 09/13/2016 - 09:45 Permalink
Jofy venturini (not verified)

I got married but have never

I got married but have never lived with my wife,we have mantained seprate houses and i dont pay her bills ect,.she is on disability ,will that effect her checks.


Tue, 09/13/2016 - 10:48 Permalink

In reply to by Jofy venturini (not verified)

Hi Jofy,

Hi Jofy,
It may if your wife is on SSI benefits and they consider you part of her household.

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 09:54 Permalink
Felicia (not verified)

I want to marry my bf, but he

I want to marry my bf, but he receives ssi and I get unemployment will that effect his checks if we get married or what happens

Tue, 09/13/2016 - 23:02 Permalink

In reply to by Felicia (not verified)

Hi Felicia,

Hi Felicia,
It may affect his checks as SSI would take into account your combined income.

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 09:55 Permalink
Silvia (not verified)

If someone het as I and add

If someone het as I and add and has a live in caregiver (ex husband)and the total income when they get married again will be 30.000 will she loose ssi or ssd?

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 00:17 Permalink

In reply to by Silvia (not verified)

HI Silva,

HI Silva,

It may affect thier checks as SSI would take into account their combined income.

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 09:55 Permalink
Isaac Burgad (not verified)

I have CP and my girl friend

I have CP and my girl friend has a mental form of dd how ward would it be for us to go though the legal proses of getting engaged/marred in the future.

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 14:11 Permalink

In reply to by Isaac Burgad (not verified)

Hi Issac,

Hi Issac,
I know of no law prohibiting people from marrying based on the conditions that they have. However if you or her have SSI benefits it may affect them as your income would be calculated differently.

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 16:42 Permalink
Kathie (not verified)

I am 60 years old and on SSI

I am 60 years old and on SSI so if I get married will I lose my Medicare and benifets he is 74 and retired but does have a good income

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 19:02 Permalink

In reply to by Kathie (not verified)

Hi Kathie,

Hi Kathie,
You may not lose your medicare but SSI benefits are income based, and they do calculate benefits based off of household income.

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 15:00 Permalink
Tony (not verified)

Im married. And have been for

Im married. And have been for 38 yrs. And when i got my ssi we were seperated. For bout two mths. And they pay me 733 a. Mth. And we been together ever since. How do i get what my lawyer says i shud of been getting cause im leagally married. Huh

Sat, 09/17/2016 - 22:49 Permalink

In reply to by Tony (not verified)

Hi Tony,

Hi Tony,
733 dollars is the federal maximum for SSI benefits, if you are entitled to benefits based off of your spouse's income and earnings you would have to apply for auxiliary SSDI benefits.

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 15:02 Permalink
teresa (not verified)

I you are married will it

I you are married will it affect your eligibility for rsdi benifits

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 18:13 Permalink

In reply to by teresa (not verified)

Hi Teresa,

Hi Teresa,
I'm not really sure what RSDI refers to, however if it is not an income based program, you may not have any change in benefits.

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 09:39 Permalink
Amanda (not verified)

Hi I've been on

Hi I've been on disability SSI for 6 years I've been married to my husband for you since last year June 19th 2015 I come to find out that my SSI got cut in half $400 taken out and my husband has then only on Social Security I'm probably state disability not even a year he makes more than me but his money hasn't been touched so my question is why did mine get cut in half but my husband has never been touched?

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 19:17 Permalink

In reply to by Amanda (not verified)

HI Amanda,

HI Amanda,
If you've recently started working, your SSI check may have a reduction in it because SSI is an income based program, where they reduce the check amount by a certain amount depending on how much you earn.

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 09:40 Permalink
Melvin (not verified)

Hi, I have a question. I&#039

Hi, I have a question. I'm retired Army and receive SSDI. My finance is receiving SSDI for one of her disable children's. Will they stop her child's SSDI once we officially get married? (Second question) she is not receiving child support from the father, but she's in the process of getting support from him through the court. How would the amount she get in child support affect the amount she's getting in SSDI for the child?

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 18:10 Permalink

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