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

charlene farr (not verified)

My fiancé and I are get

My fiancé and I are get married I have 2 kids and he has 1. My little girl receives SSI. Would I loose her benefits and her Medicaid when we get married in a few months.

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 17:03 Permalink

In reply to by charlene farr (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
You might if your husband or wife is earning an income. You should call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 just to be sure.

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 16:37 Permalink
John B (not verified)

My mom currently has 19

My mom currently has 19 credits toward SSDI, is there anyway to work something out for that last credit she is unable to get? Her medical condition prevents her from getting any kind of work and her marriage to my dad prevents her from receiving SSI either, despite him working less than 30 hours a week. They're talking about divorcing for the sole purpose of him not affecting her chances of gaining disability.

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 19:15 Permalink

In reply to by John B (not verified)

Hi John,

Hi John,
Her best bet would be to unfortunately just try to find side-jobs that require little-to-no work. If she only needs one credit, she just needs to earn $1,260 this year to get her last credit.

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 16:39 Permalink
yvonne (not verified)

hi i have a question i

hi i have a question i receive ssi and i wanted to get married my boyfriend is from mexico he doesnt cross to the united states so we wanted to get married at mexico he works and get paid 35 dlls per week by the month he earns 140 dlls will that affect my ssi

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 20:11 Permalink

In reply to by yvonne (not verified)

Hi Yvonne,

Hi Yvonne,
Any earned income at all will affect your benefits. SSI is a little hard to calculate, but you'll probably lose around $50 if he's earning $140 per month.

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 16:41 Permalink
Christine (not verified)

Hi. I receive ssi $733.00 a

Hi. I receive ssi $733.00 a month and my boyfriend and I want to move in together next month now that I just had his baby last month. My boyfriend works for himself and makes around 1,500.00 month. Will I still receive my benefits? Rent is 800.00 a month at his house plus utilities and groceries he would need me to help him pay half of the bills and now having a baby we would really need the income. What is going to happen?

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 04:29 Permalink

In reply to by Christine (not verified)

Hi Christine,

Hi Christine,
You will unfortunately not qualify anymore, as you cannot be earning more than $1,100 per month as a couple and still have a partner on SSI benefits.

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 15:00 Permalink
Cindy (not verified)

My boyfriend receives state

My boyfriend receives state retirement and SSDI. I receive SSDI. If we get married, will either of our SSDI income be lost?

Sat, 01/16/2016 - 11:49 Permalink
T&JOE (not verified)

If I want to marry a man that

If I want to marry a man that is incarcerated will it affect my disability Benifits?

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 23:46 Permalink

In reply to by T&JOE (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
No it should not. Because he/she is not earning income while in prison, this would not affect your SSI benefits. If you are on SSDI benefits, you will not need to worry about getting married at all.

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 15:02 Permalink
Sarah Lawson (not verified)

I am 30 an on ssdi because

I am 30 an on ssdi because of m.s. an would love to get married. Will this effect my monthly checks or my health insurance

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 19:17 Permalink
Katie (not verified)

Hi! Both my boyfriend and I

Hi! Both my boyfriend and I are Disabled adult child. We only get SSDIB.But we want to get married. But we don't want our checks to be affected. Could we still able to receive them every month?
We both have a child together.

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 21:58 Permalink

In reply to by Katie (not verified)

Hi Katie,

Hi Katie,
You actually can! When two adult children marry, they both keep their benefits. The only issue would arise if one of you is not an adult child.

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 15:11 Permalink
D.Marie (not verified)

I was on SSI, got married in

I was on SSI, got married in November and payment are stopping my in 3/16. Can I apply for SSDI?

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 11:40 Permalink

In reply to by D.Marie (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
You could, but I doubt you will qualify. The only way you could qualify is if you're over age 50. That way you could receive up to 50% of your spouses' retirement benefits or disability benefits.

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 15:13 Permalink
Yvette (not verified)

Hi..we looking forward to

Hi..we looking forward to getting marry next year. He is on SSI and I am on Federal Disability Retirement from the Federal Government will this affect his monthly payments? Thanks

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 11:46 Permalink

In reply to by Yvette (not verified)

Hi Yvette,

Hi Yvette,
His payments may be affected, but it will depend on how much in SSDI benefits you are currently receiving. I would speak with the SSA representative who is handling his case to find out a little more about that.

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 14:45 Permalink
Kevin (not verified)

My children receive SSD

My children receive SSD payments from my ex wife, but live with me. She receives disability and they do too. If I remarry, will my children lose these?

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:02 Permalink

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

Hi Kevin,

Hi Kevin,
They shouldn't lose benefits if you remarry. This is because the benefits are under your ex wife's work history, and your own financial eligibility will not affect them or her earning record.

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 16:56 Permalink
Henry (not verified)

If I marry will her business

If I marry will her business afact my ssdi

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 06:45 Permalink

In reply to by Henry (not verified)

Hi Henry,

Hi Henry,
So long as you do not contribute to the business then no, the income she earns from the business will not affect your SSDI benefits.

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 15:15 Permalink
Louise (not verified)

I receive ssdi off my

I receive ssdi off my deceased husband becausei have Lupus. I want to marry, the guy is from Nigeria and coming to the us to marry me. Will that stop my ssdi.

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 10:55 Permalink
Dee (not verified)

I get ssi for my 6 yr old n i

I get ssi for my 6 yr old n i have a income reported making 11 an hr already but my boyfriend whom doesnt live with me wants to marry me one day but he has an income making 13 an hr on top my household size is right now 6 will that interfer with my son ssi even if hes not the father of my kids

Sun, 02/14/2016 - 09:59 Permalink

In reply to by Dee (not verified)

Hi Dee,

Hi Dee,
That is actually pretty hard to know for sure, because some states supplement the SSI income limit. But my answer would be "probably not," because you have so many additional children.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:41 Permalink
Dawn (not verified)

Hi me and my bf are wanting

Hi me and my bf are wanting to move in together and get married but I get ssi and Ss from where my father worked and passed away and my bf just gets ssi I get Medicaid he gets Molina will it effect any of our income or insurance and what if we just move in together not get married

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 06:41 Permalink

In reply to by Dawn (not verified)

Hi Dawn,

Hi Dawn,
If you are both on SSI benefits, your total SSI payment cannot be more than $1,100 per month. So your SSI benefits will likely go down after marriage, but you will keep your health insurance.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:43 Permalink
joy (not verified)

Hello, I've ben disabled

Hello, I've ben disabled since 1995 and I'm 52 years old. I plan on getting married soon and was wanting to know how it will affect my benefits....right now I have medicar and qmb.

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 13:36 Permalink

In reply to by joy (not verified)

Hi Joy,

Hi Joy,
You will not lose your benefits if you are on SSDI. This is because SSDI benefits are based on your own work history, not the financial assistance of a spouse. You will be fine and still remain on Medicare.

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 16:56 Permalink
Jerry morden (not verified)

Need to know if I get marry

Need to know if I get marry am I going to lose my ssi my girlfriend have ssi too just want to know because more help we need to live and last too thank u

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 17:12 Permalink

In reply to by Jerry morden (not verified)

Hi Jerry,

Hi Jerry,
No you will not, your incomes will just be reduced so you are not earning more than $1,100 per month combined.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:43 Permalink
Lisa89 (not verified)

I work a full time/part time

I work a full time/part time job and bring about 200$ a month home. He receives ssi and we have been living together for over a year. We are going to be getting married this year. Will be loose all his benefits including insurance and why would my income cause problems when we have been living together?

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 20:03 Permalink

In reply to by Lisa89 (not verified)

Hi Lisa,

Hi Lisa,
You are definitely not earning enough to disqualify him from SSI benefits. He could lose a small portion of his benefits, but should be fine.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:44 Permalink
Christy (not verified)

My boyfriend and I both

My boyfriend and I both collect ssdi, I'm 55 and he's 51. I also collect a portion of my deceased husbands as benefits and he collects a portion of his deceased ex-wife's ssdi benefits. We recently got engaged. If we marry how will that affect things? Will we lose any benefits or will everything stay the same?

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 14:41 Permalink

In reply to by Christy (not verified)

Hi Christy,

Hi Christy,
I'm not sure how you're receiving two forms of SSDI payments at once? If you are receiving benefits on behalf of a deceased husband, those will go away if you remarry. Your other SSDI benefits will stay the same.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:45 Permalink
missy (not verified)

Suppose I receive as I but my

Suppose I receive as I but my husband dosent have any income right now,what will happen?

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 20:27 Permalink

In reply to by missy (not verified)

If your husband isn't earning

If your husband isn't earning any income right now, neither your SSI or your SSDI benefits will go down.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:45 Permalink
SaraJoe (not verified)

I receive SSI, my fiance

I receive SSI, my fiance receives SSDI and our son receives Dependant Ssdi checks from his fathers Ssdi. We plan our marrying this spring but don't know if any our our income will be affected. Will it?

Sat, 02/20/2016 - 19:56 Permalink

In reply to by SaraJoe (not verified)

Hi Sara,

Hi Sara,
Because your husband is receiving SSDI on behalf of his father, he will lose all of his SSDI payments if you get married. Your SSI benefits may in turn be lowered if he has any additional income.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:46 Permalink
JJ (not verified)

My name is Jj short for

My name is Jj short for Jennifer. I receive my SSDI due to my own health. To sum up I had two open hearts and two brain surgeries. I have met a wonderful man who works full time and wants to marry me. If we were to marry, would my ssdi be effected in anyway?

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 03:22 Permalink
Katie (not verified)

I am on ssi if I got married

I am on ssi if I got married to him but he don't have job cause of felony

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 14:26 Permalink
Jay (not verified)

My fiance has renal kidney

My fiance has renal kidney failure, is on dyalisis and has been disabled since he graduated hs about 22 yrs ago. If we get married will his benefits be affected?

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 22:46 Permalink

In reply to by Jay (not verified)

Is he on SSDI benefits or SSI

Is he on SSDI benefits or SSI benefits? If he is on SSDI benefits, nothing will change. If he is on SSI benefits and you earn income, he could lose his benefits and his health insurance.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:47 Permalink
shawna (not verified)

if my girl friend gets ssi

if my girl friend gets ssi and medicaid and i work making 32,000 a year will she lose her benefits if we get married

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 09:16 Permalink

In reply to by shawna (not verified)

Hi Shawna,

Hi Shawna,
Yes she will. The maximum monthly income for a couple where one party is on SSI is $1,100 per month.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:47 Permalink
Mary (not verified)

My husband gets ssi and but I

My husband gets ssi and but I work I make about 2,000 a month will that effect my husbands benefits??? I work multiple jobs just to pay the rent and bills we live by our selfs with my two children but my children aren't his thier his step kids will affect his ssi

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 20:48 Permalink

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