Does Marriage Affect Disability Benefits?

Adults with disabilities are living more fulfilling lives today. More and more individuals with disabilities are going to college, traveling, having careers and some are finding love and getting married. This brings up the important question, Does Marriage Affect Disability Benefits?

There are two types of Social Security Benefits for individuals with disabilities, SSI and SSDI.  The type of benefit that you receive will determine whether marriage will affect your benefit amount.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program which means that there are financial eligibility requirements.  If a person has income and assets over the limit, they will not be eligible for the program. If you are considering getting married, remember, that your future spouse’s income and assets need to be reported and can cause ineligibility for the SSI program.

If a person receiving SSI marries another SSI recipient, it is very likely that their benefits will be reduced by 25%. The 2014 SSI benefit amount for an individual is $721.00; the benefit amount for a married couple who are both receiving SSI is $1082.00.

The other disability program, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), is an entitlement program. Benefits are earned by paying into the system and there is no financial determination for the program, therefore, a spouse’s income and/or assets will not change your ability to receive benefits.

As for Disabled Adult Children (DAC), adults who became disabled before the age of 22 and receive Social Security benefits from their parents work record, marriage can create problems with benefit eligibility. Parents commonly ask the question, can my adult child marry and continue to receive their DAC benefit? The answer is no, marriage will disqualify a Disabled Adult Child from receiving their DAC benefits. There is, however, an exception to that rule and that is that if a DAC recipient marries another Disabled Adult Child, both can continue to receive their full benefit from Social Security.

Marriage can affect your Social Security benefits, so it is important to understand the consequences which can cause potential financial loss. If you have any questions, contact Protected Tomorrows at (847) 522-8086.