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What effect does marriage have on SSD benefits?

Published on January 18th, 2013

With talks about the Social Security gap widening, and questions rising about whether there will be enough money in the system in twenty years, many beneficiaries are now wondering whether a change in marital status could negatively affect their ability to receive benefits.

The answer to this question is a little tricky because it depends on your situation. Are you receiving benefits as a disabled worker or are you disabled because of a medical condition? How long have you been disabled? Is it a temporary thing or is it permanent? All of these questions can have a significant impact on whether you receive benefits and if they will be affected when you say ‘I do’.

For disabled workers who are receiving benefits, the first thing you will have to consider is whether your benefits are based off of your own person situation or that of a previous spouse or your parents. Getting married typically does not affect those who are receiving payments because of their own work record. If you are receiving benefits based on the work records of a former spouse, whether living or deceased, or your parents, this is a different story. In a situation such as this, getting married could reduce or cancel payments or change your Social Security eligibility.

Supplemental Security Income, which has strict income requirements for beneficiaries, could be compromised by marriage depending on how much their spouse earns.

Like with most Social Security disability questions, it never hurts to talk to a skilled attorney who can give you intelligent answers that steer you in the right direction.

Source: The PR Newswire, “Social security disability attorney 101 on Social Security Disability Benefits,” Jan. 15, 2013

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