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 Mary (not verified)

Hi Mary,

Hi Mary,
Yes it will. A couple cannot have more than $1,100 per month in earned income and still qualify for SSI benefits.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:48 Permalink
Shannon (not verified)

My mother and her husband

My mother and her husband both receive SSDI but my mother is mental disable while her husband is physical disable recently she is requiring more help than he can do alone and may need to move in with me her daughter but her husband cant afford the bills at their house by his self is there any support he can receive from her SSDI benefits to help him

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 18:45 Permalink
Valerie (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

Hi. I thought when Shannon

Hi. I thought when Shannon asked, she said her mother's husband was PHYSICALLY disabled, while her mom was mentally disabled?

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 21:30 Permalink

In reply to by Valerie (not verified)

Hi Valerie,

Hi Valerie,
Both of them being disabled does not change their eligibility for benefits if they are already receiving them.

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 09:42 Permalink
shelly (not verified)

My fiance receives social

My fiance receives social security and disability and has for over a year. I just got my first social security disability check in november 2015 i got approved. If we get married will it take away from either one of our checks. How can it effect us he gets the same amount ass i do monthly.

Sat, 02/27/2016 - 20:06 Permalink
nancy (not verified)

I work full time but a job

I work full time but a job where I have been working for 2 years now and I make 13 an hour 40 hours a wk n my fiance get ask and we want to get married how much will it affect him both out income is needed to be k

Sat, 02/27/2016 - 23:12 Permalink

In reply to by nancy (not verified)

Hi Nancy,

Hi Nancy,
If you get married and your fiance is on SSI, he will actually lose all of his benefits with your current income.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:52 Permalink
Amanda (not verified)

Hello I am a disabled adult

Hello I am a disabled adult child I collect survivor benefits under my dad's record and ssdi under my record my fiance is also a diabled adult child and collects survivor benefits under his dad's record but the remanded in ssi totalling 765 for him and 1632 for me what would happen to our benefits if we were to marry thank you

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 00:19 Permalink

In reply to by Amanda (not verified)

Hi Amanda,

Hi Amanda,
Because you are BOTH disabled adult children, your benefits will actually stay the same. No worries!

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:55 Permalink
Kathy (not verified)

Hi. I will be 53 in May. I

Hi. I will be 53 in May. I have been receiving SSD I since 2008 and also receiving Medicare, Mass Health and Part D.

My husband, 59 in March, will be applying for SSDI due to major back problems and 2 knee replacements as well as other health problems.

Per SS statement a family can only make a certain $ amount per mnth.

Does this apply to SSI only, if both spouses were on regular SS, not SSDI?

If we're both on SSDI will we only be allowed to collect the family alloted $ amount per SSI statement?

If family allotted $ amt is used, who's $ amt will they use, one with higher amt?

Thank you.

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 08:00 Permalink

In reply to by Kathy (not verified)

Hi Kathy,

Hi Kathy,
This is for SSI only. If your husband is receiving SSDI, there isn't a limit you two can earn (aside from double the maximum SSDI monthly payment). If you have children, each can receive 50% of the highest earner's payment, HOWEVER, there is a limit here. A household total cannot exceed 180% of a payment, meaning that if you have multiple children, each child will not receive a full 50%. Does that make sense?

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:57 Permalink
Julie (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

I'm also on SSD and I

I'm also on SSD and I have 3 children receiving benefits off my SSD. But my one daughter has juvenile idiopathic arthritis and they (social security disability ) said she could not qualify because she already gets benefits under me! So she has to wait until she's 18 to reapply?
Also my kids don't get 50% each of my amount at all !
They never have, where can I find this documented on social security website?
How does the 180% of a payment total household calculate?
If someone earns 2000 a month for theirself?
What should each child be receiving?
I have been on disability since 2004!!

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 04:52 Permalink

In reply to by Julie (not verified)

Hi Julie,

Hi Julie,

Your daughter is not eligible for SSDI benefits because it is based of work history, but when she turns 18 she may be eligible for regular SSDI benefits based off of your work record. She may be eligible for SSI, which would be based on income and resources.
Regarding your children not getting 50% of your benefit amount:
The maximum is 180% of your own benefit, so if you get 2000 dollars a month for your own benefits, your children would be eligible for 1600 dollars in auxiliary benefits. So if you have three children, it would be 1600 split three ways. That would be around 533 dollars each.

I'm not entirely sure where you would find the documentation on the SSA website, but if you call them at 1-800-772-1213 they would be able to help you further with that.

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 10:05 Permalink
Carol Miranda (not verified)

I am on ssi and receive

I am on ssi and receive medicaid, I want to marry a man who collects social security as an only income. Is there any way to at least keep my medicaid. Thanks

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 10:50 Permalink

In reply to by Carol Miranda (not verified)

Hi Carol,

Hi Carol,
This is actually a really tricky question. You will definitely be able to keep your medicaid, but your SSI benefits may be lowered.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:58 Permalink
Sjmrf (not verified)

Boyfriend on SSDI, only 55yoa

Boyfriend on SSDI, only 55yoa. I work full time almost 60. If we get married, will it hurt his SSDI?

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 11:46 Permalink

In reply to by Sjmrf (not verified)

Nope! This is because SSDI is

Nope! This is because SSDI is based on your own earnings record, not your household's current income.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:58 Permalink
kayla tennison (not verified)

So if I want to get merried

So if I want to get merried to someone with ssdi and ssi. What will that take from that person? So if the other person is on ssdi only what will take from that person

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 10:08 Permalink

In reply to by kayla tennison (not verified)

Hi Kayla,

Hi Kayla,
You will not affect his SSDI at all, but his SSI payment may decrease if you're earning income.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:59 Permalink
Daniel B (not verified)

My fiancees son is on

My fiancees son is on traditional medicaid and ssi, if i put her on my insurance will that effect anything on her sons benefits?

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 14:02 Permalink

In reply to by Daniel B (not verified)

Hi Daniel,

Hi Daniel,
I actually am not sure about this one! You can try calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to find out more.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:59 Permalink
Wondering (not verified)

My fiance is on SSDI. Will

My fiance is on SSDI. Will getting married make her loose SSDI. I am working making around 38k. per year.

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 10:05 Permalink
Molly harris (not verified)

Hi i recently got married

Hi i recently got married like 4 months ago and i get ssi and my husband does work how will this affect my ssi payments like whats the max he can earn while working if i get 733 a month?

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 13:38 Permalink

In reply to by Molly harris (not verified)

Hi Molly,

Hi Molly,
If your husband makes more than $1,100 per month, you will not qualify for SSI. For anything less than that, your SSI benefits may be reduced.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:00 Permalink
Larry cogdill (not verified)

Hi my girlfriend and I are

Hi my girlfriend and I are about to get married she is on disability but I work full time will this effect the amount of money she resevies each month?

Sun, 03/06/2016 - 08:28 Permalink

In reply to by Larry cogdill (not verified)

Hi Larry,

Hi Larry,
If she is on SSDI benefits, this will not affect her at all. If she is on SSI, her benefits will be reduced or even lost completely.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:00 Permalink
Jennifer (not verified)

I am a parent of two children

I am a parent of two children that one is disabled receiving Ssi and the other child receives a child benefit off her father. If I was to marry someone that is about to get their disability themselves how would it affect us all together?

Sun, 03/06/2016 - 18:06 Permalink

In reply to by Jennifer (not verified)

Hi Jennifer,

Hi Jennifer,
This is a challenging question. The SSI benefits MIGHT be affected. It's impossible to know depending on how much your new husband earns per month. Your other child's benefits will not change.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:01 Permalink
linda (not verified)

hi aim getting ssdi i

hi aim getting ssdi i wondered if my husband could get paid a little something for taking care of me

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 15:27 Permalink

In reply to by linda (not verified)

No Linda, SS benefits are

No Linda, SS benefits are only for people with disabilities, not for caregivers.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:01 Permalink
Livey (not verified)

Are you allowed to have a

Are you allowed to have a child of u r on SSDI? And would that child qualify for any benefits??

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 04:41 Permalink
Karma (not verified)

I am SSDI and considering

I am SSDI and considering marrying a man with SSI. We understand the needs based SSI stops but is there a spouse SSDI benifit whereby they can change his SSI into a portion of my SSDI?

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 08:49 Permalink
Karma (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

Hi Deanna and thankyou. He&

Hi Deanna and thankyou. He's not yet 50 and it doesn't seem he can apply in 4 years when he turns 50 since his disabilty occured before that time. Is that correct? Is it possible for him to receive medicare based on my ssdi? Because once again his medical is needs based income like his SSI and will stop once we are married.

Sun, 06/05/2016 - 10:06 Permalink

In reply to by Karma (not verified)

Hi Karma,

Hi Karma,
As far as Medicare is concerned, he may not be eligible on your SSDI, but he may be eligible for Medicaid depending on your state's requirements for Medicaid. You can learn more here:

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 10:08 Permalink
Yvonne (not verified)

I am disabled and also

I am disabled and also receive funds for my kids who are not. I know I won't lose my disability if I get married but will I lose what I get for them?

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 17:25 Permalink

In reply to by Yvonne (not verified)

Hi Yvonne,

Hi Yvonne,
if you're getting SSDI benefits, your benefits might not change. If you're getting SSI, you may have a change in benefits based on your household income after you get married.

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 16:23 Permalink
Rob (not verified)

I'm on SSD and got

I'm on SSD and got married in July of 2015. My wife suffers from RA and she has a 13 yr old. Will either of them be entitled to Dependent benefit based on my earnings? I provide more then 1/2 her support.

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 11:52 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I have a friend she & her

I have a friend she & her fiance are both on disability which she getting he's from her dad he just passed away not to long ago her fiance hard working man had to get on disability for health reasons both don't isn't working If they get married will they take her check away or will they take half or half both checks.. She about 24 or 25 & he's about 61 or 62

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 12:52 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


Very sorry to hear about your friend's loss!
If they are both getting SSDI benefits, they're not going to experience a change in benefits just because they get married. However, since your friend's disability benefits are from her father, she may have her benefits terminated because her father has died.

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 15:51 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Even if she's was &

Even if she's was & now still getting it from his retirement.??

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 15:58 Permalink
Lydell (not verified)

I have a question. My fiancé

I have a question. My fiancé that I'm planning to marry in August this year. Gets ssdi and she works. When we get married would she still get her ssdi even though we both would be working?

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 16:13 Permalink

In reply to by Lydell (not verified)

Hi Lydell,

Hi Lydell,
If she's getting SSDI benefits on her own work history and if she's not making enough every month to be considered as being in a "trial work period", it's possible that her benefits would not change.

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 16:21 Permalink
Lydell (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Oh so what does the trial

Oh so what does the trial work period mean? And she said she gets $800 and then 600 from somewhere else. And I'm starting a business soon so will that affect it?

Sun, 03/13/2016 - 17:49 Permalink

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