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

Steven (not verified)

I receive ssdi from my own earnings. I had just gotten married a year ago and my wife and I are now expecting a baby for this summer. She is currently on unemployment and won't be able to return to work until after she gives birth. Can you tell me how my benefits will be affected??

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 14:46 Permalink
Stephanie (not verified)

Hi,

My fiance and I would like to get married this July, however he is in the middle of trying to get disability, could take up to 12 more months for a decision, I have income, but my question is can we get married? Will this affect the amount he gets? Or affect the decision?

Thanks

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 20:53 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Stephanie (not verified)

Hi Stephanie,
Getting married would only affect your husband's disability benefits if he was applying for SSI benefits. If he's applying for SSDI benefits, then your income would not be counted for the purposes of calculating his benefits.

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 08:54 Permalink
Lindsay (not verified)

Hi - my minor son receives Social Security Dissability benefits. If I get married, will this affect his benefits?
Thank you!

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 15:43 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Lindsay (not verified)

Hi Lindsay,
It would depend on why your son is receiving benefits. If he is disabled and is on SSI benefits, he could potentially lose his SSI benefits if your household income raises. If he's receiving auxiliary SSDI benefits, your son's benefits will remain the same.

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 14:18 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Lindsay (not verified)

Hi Lindsay,
Auxiliary benefits are benefits that are paid to the child of a person who is receiving disability benefits based off their work record. If you are not receiving disability benefits based off your work record ( these are SSDI benefits), Your child is most likely getting SSI benefits.

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:06 Permalink
Denise peterson (not verified)

I have a question if I get social security and ssdi if I get married will it effect my benefits and what is the income guidelines

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 17:22 Permalink
Tom (not verified)

My girlfriend is currently collecting SSI for 100% disability in Virginia. I am 60% service connected disability through VA. We are both 54 and will reside in Fl. What should we expect in benefit changes for her if we get married?

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:11 Permalink
Deanna

In reply to by Tom (not verified)

Hi Tom,
Your girlfriend's SSI benefits may decrease, but it is hard to know if so and by how much. It is very unlikely that she will lose her benefits entirely.

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 14:19 Permalink
Kimberley (not verified)

Thinking about getting married and his income is almost 2000.00. A month his insurance they work won't cover me and I can't afford to loose any of my benefits. What can i do

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 14:31 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Kimberley (not verified)

Hi Kimberley,
If you're getting SSDI benefits, then you may be eligible for medicare benefits. Additionally, you may still be eligible for Medicaid in your state.

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 15:20 Permalink
Keta (not verified)

Hello my child receives SSI...if I start a job will her benefits be taken away? I also want to know if I get married what is the income together that can have her benefits taken away?

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 22:02 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Keta (not verified)

Hi Keta,
I would contact the SSA, they calculate your child's SSI payments based on your income and would have more insight into how they would calculate your child's benefits if you start working. Additionally, they would know better how much your child's benefits would change if you get married.

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:01 Permalink
Cbt (not verified)

I had to apply for ssdi , i always worked and paid into social security, am married and my husband get pension and work part time will this affect my ssdi

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 14:47 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Vanessa (not verified)

Hi Vanessa,
You may experience a change in benefits if your combined income is enough for the SSI to re-calculate your benefit amount. As far as Medicaid is concerned, that is a state based program and as such you would have to ask your state's Medicaid program about your continued eligibility

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 16:03 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Linda McNamee (not verified)

Hi Linda,
It would only affect either of your benefits if either of you are getting SSI benefits rather than benefits based off of your respective work records.

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 13:47 Permalink
Amy bryant (not verified)

My fiance gets dis and I don't work and we don't own Amy property. Will us getting married affect his check?

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 14:47 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Amy bryant (not verified)

Hi Amy,
If your spouse is getting SSDI benefits, then marriage would not affect his check. If he is getting SSI benefits, then your income and resources would be taken into account when they calculate his benefits.

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 09:51 Permalink
Peggy (not verified)

I'm turning sixty in August 2016. I am drawing ssdi from my own income records. I also just adopted my 4 yr.old grandson and have a appointment set up to apply for the benefits that he will qualify for because of my ssdi. If I get married will my new spouses income affect our benefits? Also, will it affect my medicare? If I marry and we file taxes jointly, will we be eligible for earned income credit for my son based on new spouses income? If not, what would be the best way to file our taxes?

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 01:03 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Peggy (not verified)

Hi Peggy,
SSDI benefits are based off of your work record and so are not affected by your spouse's income level, and remarriage may not affect your medicare coverage. Regarding taxes, I wish I could help more but we are not tax professionals.

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 10:34 Permalink
mike (not verified)

If i stART working and i start making to much money and they cut my ssi off I can make a 1000 working a month if I stop work will they cut my check back on

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 19:41 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by mike (not verified)

Hi Mike,
If you become ineligible for SSI benefits, they may be able to provide benefits for any month that you are eligible for benefits.

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:01 Permalink
Susieann (not verified)

If I receive disability benefits based on my own work quarters and I go live with my partner will it effect my benefits and if he adds me to his work insurance will it effect my medicare insurance, will I loose my benefits. Seriously worried????

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 01:39 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Susieann (not verified)

Hi Susieann,
It appears you're getting SSDI benefits. Since those are only based on your work history, you would have no change in benefits or Medicare coverage if you had gotten married or cohabitate with your partner.

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:03 Permalink
Taryn (not verified)

So my husband received ssa before we got married and currently still does I'm the only one working at the moment if I change my last name will he lose his ssa benifets

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 23:37 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Taryn (not verified)

Hi Taryn,
Changing your last name will not affect your husband's disability benefits as long as he is still otherwise eligible to receive benefits.

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 11:34 Permalink
Lyd (not verified)

I am receiving social security benefits on an ex spouses working record . Will my benefits stop if I marry someone who is Receiving benefits also from his work ?

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 15:53 Permalink
KISSY (not verified)

HEY I WANT TO GET MARRIED BUT I GET SSI FOR MY CHILD ON THE 1ST AND MY FIANCE GET DISABILITY ON THE 3RD OF THE MONTH HOW WILL IF AFFECT MY CHILD CHECK ARE MY FIANCE INCOME

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 15:55 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by grace (not verified)

Hi Grace,
If you're getting SSDI payments, those will not change. If you are getting SSI payments, then your spouse's income and resources may be used to determine your eligibility for benefits.

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 10:06 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by Rose Bowie (not verified)

Hi Rose,
Yes, you may have your SSI benefits affected by marriage, as the SSA will use you and your spouse's combined income to determine eligibility for benefits.

Tue, 06/07/2016 - 10:17 Permalink
courtney (not verified)

I was wondering my boyfriend and I want to get married in April but we didn't know if it was going to affect his SSI

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 15:15 Permalink
Bryan

In reply to by courtney (not verified)

Hi Courtney,
His SSI may be affected because SSI is calculated based on household income, and your income and resources may be counted along with his.

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 10:28 Permalink
Craig (not verified)

I am receiving SSDI payments and plan to get married. My future wife will be retiring at FRA in 1 year. Will her SS retirement benefit amount be affected or reduced as a result? Will mine?

Sun, 06/12/2016 - 16:10 Permalink

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