SSI, SSDI, and the Affects of Marriage

By: Disability Group

If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) or widow’s (or widower’s) benefits from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), your marriage may affect your disability benefits.

How will my marriage change my disability benefits if I am receiving SSI?

If you are receiving SSI, your benefits may change in the following ways:

  • If you get married, your spouse’s income and resources may affect your eligibility.  In 2011, to be eligible for SSI as a couple, you can earn up to $1,031 per month in unearned income and $2,107 per month in earned income.  Also, resources for a couple cannot be worth more than $3,000. 
    • Unearned income is money that is received somewhere other than a job.  For example, Social Security benefits, worker’s compensation, and pension payments are all types of unearned income. 
    • Earned income includes wages and earnings from a job or self-employment.
    • Resources are the things you own, like a car or a home.   
  • If you and your spouse are both receiving SSI, then your benefit will change from the individual rate to the couple rate.  In 2011, the monthly benefit for a couple is $1,011.

How will marriage change my disability benefits if I am receiving widow or widower’s benefits?

Generally, you cannot receive widow or widower’s benefits if you remarry before the age of 60.  If you are disabled, you cannot receive widow or widower’s benefits if you remarry before the age of 50.

For more information about how marriage affects your Social Security disability benefits, please visit www.ssa.gov.

 If you have any further questions, please contact your local SSA office or an experienced Social Security attorney.

 

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