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

Carmen (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

No question was asked here as to whether or not the SSDI benefit is based on the partner's record or a parent's. Why is a traditional couple's benefit effected and not that of a same sex couple?

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 12:05 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Carmen (not verified)

Hi Carmen,
If someone is getting SSDI based off their own records, nothing will change after marriage. If they are getting benefits based off of someone else's work records, then marriage may change their eligibility for benefits. This applies for all marriages.

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 14:30 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Tammy (not verified)

Hi Tammy,
Benefits do not change based on sexual orientation, but they may change based on income, marital status, and living situation.

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 09:02 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by angel (not verified)

Hi Angel,
If you're receiving survivor's benefits due to a disability that you have, it may affect your benefits if you marry. You may want to contact the SSA, you can do so by calling 1-772-1213 or by visiting their website at www.ssa.gov .

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 12:58 Permalink
kristy (not verified)

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.

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 03:52 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by kristy (not verified)

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.

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 11:55 Permalink
Em (not verified)

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

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 05:52 Permalink
Jay (not verified)

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 ?

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 23:07 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Jay (not verified)

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.

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 15:54 Permalink
Cheri (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

I get Ssi and my husband has filed for his ssdi. I was wondering if he gets his ssdi if that will effect my check and insurance? Personally I'm just worried about insurance.

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 11:21 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Cheri (not verified)

Hi Cheri,
Depending on your husband's income, it may affect your SSI, however as Medicaid is administered at the state level, I would not be able to say if that would be affected. Additionally, if you are still qualified for SSI, you may still qualify for Medicaid.

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 15:42 Permalink
Xandie (not verified)

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.

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 22:59 Permalink
Cheryl (not verified)

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?

Sat, 12/19/2015 - 10:47 Permalink
pam (not verified)

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

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 21:44 Permalink
Gennee Burgett (not verified)

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.

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 15:50 Permalink
Michelle (not verified)

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?

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 21:40 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Michelle (not verified)

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.

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 09:48 Permalink
CeeCee (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

Hello my son receives ssi. I don't work and have 3 other children that are not on ssi. If I get married will he still be qualified for ssi. My fiancé earns about 2400 a month before taxes.

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 22:46 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by CeeCee (not verified)

Hi CeeCee,
I would not be able to say that he would, as the SSA would have to calculate his deemed income to determine if he would still be eligible for benefits.

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:25 Permalink
darla (not verified)

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?

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 16:03 Permalink
Kevin (not verified)

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

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 02:36 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

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.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 13:34 Permalink
Kevin (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

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

Sat, 01/02/2016 - 12:51 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

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.

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 16:38 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Jen (not verified)

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..

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 16:39 Permalink
Susan Kirchner (not verified)

My husband recently was granted disability. My question is since my employer dropped my medical insurance will my husband's disability medical coverage cover me?

Sun, 01/03/2016 - 01:11 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Susan Kirchner (not verified)

Hi Susan,
It will not. I believe the only exception to this rule is if you are over the age of 62 and are receiving benefits under his account.

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 16:40 Permalink
Hi my name is … (not verified)

I'm a hearing guy and I work and my fiance is deaf and receive ssi and we wants to get marriage and want to know will that affect her ssi benifit?

Sun, 01/03/2016 - 21:11 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Hi my name is … (not verified)

Hi there,
If you work at all, her payments will be affected. If you earn more than $1,100 per month, she will not be eligible for SSI benefits at all.

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 16:41 Permalink
Mary (not verified)

My fiance and I would like to get married. I receive SSD benefits (since 2004) due to severe CHF that has left me unable to work. I receive an amount for myself and a separate amount for my minor child. My fiance also is receiving SSD due a permanent spinal injury. Does getting married affect any of our benefits?

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 02:06 Permalink
Sally (not verified)

Hi I'm on SSD and receiving Medicare insurance for meds and hospital and I have a daughter that is receiving a check because of me she is still in high school a senior this and graduating in May but won't turn 18 until July and going to college when will it stop for her and if I get marry will that affect me because I'm receiving it because of me working.

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 01:36 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Sally (not verified)

Hi Sally,
So your daughter will keep her benefits until she turns 18 in July. You getting married will not affect her benefits at all, because they do not affect your benefits.

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 16:53 Permalink

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