How Will Marriage Affect My Disability Benefits?

Submitted by Daniel on

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


In reply to by heather (not verified)

Hi Heather,

Hi Heather,
If your son receives SSDI based off of your work record, he may still be able to keep his benefits.

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 11:17 Permalink
Elisha (not verified)

My question is my boyfriend

My question is my boyfriend the father of my child has a parent is his payee and don't like me we whould like to get married i have a job and he is welling to work if ssd is cut he was in a car reak and has a brain injure and one eye please help

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 18:27 Permalink

In reply to by Elisha (not verified)

Hi Elisha,

Hi Elisha,
He may not be eligible for benefits if he is married, he may lose his status as a disabled adult child at that point.

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 09:35 Permalink
kc (not verified)

Me and my boyfriend both

Me and my boyfriend both receive six and he also receives as a if we get married will it effect our checks

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 17:42 Permalink

In reply to by kc (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
If you're both receiving SSI, then your benefits would be calculated based on your combined incomes.

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 09:32 Permalink
Mary (not verified)

I am married but my husband

I am married but my husband and I are separated and I am not working. I have a mental disability. If I apply for disability benefits would that affect him?

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 21:53 Permalink

In reply to by Mary (not verified)

HI Mary,

HI Mary,
It may not affect him, however if you apply for SSI benefits rather than SSDI, his income may affect your eligibility.

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 09:30 Permalink
Dorothy (not verified)

I am 61 years old and am

I am 61 years old and am about to receive disability have been ruled disabled I am married legally but my husband does not live with me and I do not know where he is it will that affect my disability check on the amount that I make

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 13:02 Permalink

In reply to by Dorothy (not verified)

Hi Dorothy,

Hi Dorothy,
If you're receiving SSI benefits, it may if you are considered part of the same household.

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 13:16 Permalink
Sue (not verified)

I have been receiving Social

I have been receiving Social Security and SSI since 1990. So I receive two separate checks. The total of both is $909. I would love to get married butt I am scared I will lose my medical and the little money I make. I have MS and it is an ongoing condition and it requires seeing multiple doctors and I also have severe lumbar issues. I don't know what to do. My social security check is the higher one of the two. Its just $600. My other check comes in at about $299. Which of those would they be taken away and which of those includes my medical. At this point I cannot lose my medical benefits is just my medications each month run over $3,500. Let alone The Specialist that I need to see you every month. I also get very confused about how much a person can make each month before they lose medical benefits. They sure don't make it easy to understand. Thank you for your help in advance. Peace and blessings Sue

Sat, 10/29/2016 - 19:41 Permalink

In reply to by Sue (not verified)

Hi Sue,

Hi Sue,
I am sorry to hear that. You will use your SSI check ($299 is the one I believe you're talking about). Your SSDI benefits will be unchanged. Since you've been on disability benefits since 1990, you will still qualify for Medicare as long as you're on SSDI benefits. Hope this helps.

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 16:39 Permalink
myrtle beasley (not verified)

If two people get married

If two people get married both over 60 years of age does the one drawing total disability lose his or her benefits?

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 01:49 Permalink

In reply to by myrtle beasley (not verified)

Hi Myrtle,

Hi Myrtle,
The person receiving benefits may lost benefits if they are receiving SSI, but if they are getting SSDI benefits it may not.

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 09:22 Permalink
Patricia (not verified)

I receive SSI and SSA I got

I receive SSI and SSA I got married my husband doesn't work but has applied for benefits how will this affect us I also have a 13 year old

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 17:23 Permalink

In reply to by Patricia (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
Your SSI benefits may be recalculated based on your household income rather than your individual income.

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 09:28 Permalink
Lennon jackson (not verified)

I started getting SSI first

I started getting SSI first and I prove that my father was my father and they gave me SSA I recently got married and reported it and they said I'm no longer eligible for social security benefits I am disabled too so do that mean I will just get my SSI only or I'm terminated.

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 18:46 Permalink

In reply to by Lennon jackson (not verified)

Hi Lennon,

Hi Lennon,
If you're still eligible for SSI based on income and disability, then you would still be able to get SSI benefits.

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 09:21 Permalink
Brian (not verified)

2 questions, I'm on ssdi

2 questions, I'm on ssdi and my girlfriend is on ssdi, if we get married will her income impact my income requirement to be able to work. Question 2, if we get married will our dshs medical insurance be affected

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 21:41 Permalink

In reply to by Brian (not verified)

Hi Brian,

Hi Brian,
If you both get SSDI benefits, then your benefits may not change. I could not say regarding your health insurance as that may depend on your state's eligibility guidelines.

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 09:22 Permalink
Carmelo (not verified)

Am married, but, I live

Am married, but, I live separate from my wife in a different address. Can I get SSI

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 16:07 Permalink

In reply to by Carmelo (not verified)

Hi Carmelo,

Hi Carmelo,
If you're otherwise eligible for SSI, then yes, you may be able to get SSI.

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 09:36 Permalink
kim (not verified)

i am getting ssdi as of 2008

i am getting ssdi as of 2008 from income i earned before marriage. I got married in april 2016. 1)what are pros and cons if file separately or joint? 2)if i file separately do i have to show that i got married? my husbands accountant said we will be taxed on my ssdi this year. is that accurate?

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 20:30 Permalink

In reply to by kim (not verified)

Hi Kim,

Hi Kim,
You may want to consult more with your accountant, we are not experts in tax law and how you would need to file would be dependent on many factors.

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 09:38 Permalink
kim (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

I think i found my answer on

I think i found my answer on in a pamphlet. thanks!.... Paying taxes on your benefits
Some people who get Social Security have to pay taxes on their benefits. About one-third of our current beneficiaries pay taxes on their benefits. You’ll be affected only if
you have substantial income in addition to your Social Security benefits.
• Ifyoufileafederaltaxreturnasan“individual,”and your income is more than $25,000, you have to pay taxes.
• Ifyoufileajointreturn,youmayhavetopaytaxes,if you and your spouse have a combined income that is more than $32,000.
• Ifyou’remarriedandfileaseparatereturn,you’ll probably pay taxes on your benefits.

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 10:26 Permalink
george harvick (not verified)

Does getting married effect

Does getting married effect the working person vhainthat persond taxes and do they clain 0 or 1 or what?

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 20:59 Permalink

In reply to by george harvick (not verified)

Hi George,

Hi George,
I really cannot tell you how to file your taxes, we really do not have much knowledge about taxes.

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 09:38 Permalink
Annie (not verified)

My father is on disability,

My father is on disability, but my mother is not. He has medical insurance through COBRA, but she has to buy her own. Does she need to include his disability payments as part of the household income? She cares for him full time and does not have a job outside the home.

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 20:21 Permalink
Maxine Joseph (not verified)

I was on Social Security

I was on Social Security disability now I'm 65 and get regular Social Security, my boyfriend was also on Social Security disability and is also over 65, I receive mine from my own work record and my late husband's work record, if we get married is one or both of us going to lose some or all of are Social Security???

Sat, 11/05/2016 - 11:48 Permalink

In reply to by Maxine Joseph (not verified)

Hi Maxine,

Hi Maxine,
You may want to contact the SSA just in case, but you may not lose any benefits if you are at full retirement age.

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 16:15 Permalink
Susan (not verified)

Hi. I'm on SSDI and will

Hi. I'm on SSDI and will be losing my health insurance soon. My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years and I was wondering, if I become his domestic partner to receive his good health insurance... Will this effect my SSDI income?
I thought it would only effected me if we got married, but I just want to make sure.

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 15:33 Permalink

In reply to by Susan (not verified)

Hi Susan,

Hi Susan,
SSDI benefits are based off of work records, so it may not change when your marital status changed.

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 16:16 Permalink
Melissa (not verified)

I am 51 years old I recieve

I am 51 years old I recieve disability I believe it is ssdi however could be regular disability,I also receive boyfriend who is 52 is unemployed an has been looking for work to no avail yet,we would like to be married,he owns his own home but a family member pays for his utilities an recieves food stamps,if we should marry are my benefits effected? I too receive food stamps,I hope you can shed some light on this so I'll know how this works.

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 01:10 Permalink

In reply to by Melissa (not verified)

Hi Melissa,

Hi Melissa,
Your SSI benefits may be affected as they are income based, and they use your household's combined income if you are married to calculate your benefit amount.

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 09:41 Permalink
Katie (not verified)



My fiance gets SSDI. He states that I would get up to 1/2 of his benefit amount if we get married. If my income is high ($5000/mo), would I still be able to draw from his SSDI? Also, my children would be his step children if we get married, would they be able to get a check, too? I know that his SSDI won't be affected. Just checking to see if this is true.

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 08:26 Permalink

In reply to by Katie (not verified)

Hi Katie,

Hi Katie,
SSDI benefits are based on work record rather than income so your income may not be taken into account when determining eligibility.

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 09:43 Permalink
Tara (not verified)

I get disability income and

I get disability income and health coverage for my mental illnesses...I love and want to marry someone who is incarcerated on the state level right now...he does not have any income so that is not a factor...will my benefits be lowered or terminated?

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 23:29 Permalink
Joseph dixon (not verified)

I just got married a week ago

I just got married a week ago and will that mess with my social security income my wife has kids she doesn't live with me

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 09:47 Permalink

In reply to by Joseph dixon (not verified)

Hi Joseph,

Hi Joseph,
If you're getting income-based benefits, then your benefits may change as the SSA uses combined income when calculating benefits for married people.

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 10:25 Permalink
Charles (not verified)

I am permanently disabled and

I am permanently disabled and receive SSDI. 6 years ago I fathered a child who began receiving from my earnings when he was 18 months old with his mother as the designated payee. I think I'd like to ask his mother to marry me, will that take the benefits away from my son? How will that impact benefits for each of us?

Sat, 11/12/2016 - 19:29 Permalink

In reply to by Charles (not verified)

Hi Charles,

Hi Charles,
It may not, and it may not impact your benefits if the child is still otherwise eligible to receive benefits.

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 10:30 Permalink
Dante (not verified)

Hi. My wife has been

Hi. My wife has been receiving SSDI for about 7 yrs now and I recently had to leave my job this year due to Osteoarthritis. I believe she is also receiving some income for her 2 children (my stepchildren). I would like to apply for SSDI as well. Would this have any effect on her/their income?

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 15:16 Permalink

In reply to by Dante (not verified)

Hi Dante,

Hi Dante,
If your wife is receiving benefits based off of her own work record, that may not affect on her or her children's income.

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 15:32 Permalink
Scott (not verified)

Im a 100%disable vet and draw

Im a 100%disable vet and draw disibity social security if i get marred to someone that 64 im 59 and she drawes disabled social security off her desist hubsand she eas drawing her own then when her hub died thay put her on his would it affect our income together would thay cut hers or mine

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 22:46 Permalink
Tanya (not verified)

Hi. I currently live in PA. I

Hi. I currently live in PA. I get a check on the 1st of the month and the 3rd of the month. Is that considered SSDI?? And if so does that mean my husband can work and i wont be penalized for it?? Please answer. Thank you!

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 14:58 Permalink

In reply to by Tanya (not verified)

Hi Tanya,

Hi Tanya,
I really could not say, however if you are on SSI benefits, then your combined household income would be used to calculate your benefits, and if your husband works your would have a reduction of one dollar for every two dollars he had earned.

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 16:33 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Both my boyfriend and I are

Both my boyfriend and I are on ssdi. How would marriage effect our income if this is all we have.

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 00:36 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
Marriage may not effect your income as SSDI benefits are based on work history rather than income.

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 09:17 Permalink
Stacey Osenbaugh (not verified)

I am currently working full

I am currently working full time, and my husband is currently receiving ssdi, will that affect his SSDI because I work full time?

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 10:48 Permalink

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