Whether you’ve applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with help from an attorney, or you already receive benefits, you may be wondering, Will I lose my disability if I get married?
SSI is a needs-based program, so it’s reasonable to ask this question. Marriage combines your income and resources with your spouse’s. This means in some cases your SSI benefit amount could change after you tie the knot.
Continue reading to learn more about the effects marriage can have on disability benefits.
How Does Marriage Affect My Disability Benefits?
While marriage itself doesn’t directly influence your SSI eligibility, your spouse’s income can. In simpler terms, if your spouse earns a significant income, it might reduce your SSI benefits.
Will I Lose My SSI Benefits if I Get Married?
Getting married can, in some cases, leave you ineligible to receive Social Security Disability.
What is “Deeming Spousal Income?”
“Deeming spousal income” means the SSI program considers a portion of your spouse’s earnings as available to you. SSI is strictly awarded to individuals with extremely limited income and assets. This is why if your spouse has a high income, it can result in a lower SSI payment.
Calculating the effect of your spouse’s income on your benefits can be tricky. Our experienced attorneys at Ortega Disability Group can help you understand what to expect going forward.
Who Counts as A Spouse?
Under SSI guidelines, you’re married if you’re legally wed and live together. In certain situations, even if you’re not legally married but are seen in the community as a couple, the income of your partner might be deemed as available to you.
Additionally, if you’re in a Domestic Partnership or Civil Union and receive SSI, it might affect your benefits if you both reside together. The influence on your benefits can be more pronounced if your partner contributes to household expenses.
What If Both You and Your Spouse Receive SSI?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has enacted what is called the “marriage penalty” for married couples where each party receives SSI benefits. The penalty exists because the SSA reasons that when two people share a household and finances, they can manage with less income than if they lived separately. As a result, both individuals’ benefits are reduced.
Contact Ortega Disability Group to Learn More About SSI in Oakland, CA
SSI and marriage’s impact on these benefits can be a confusing topic. Our qualified disability lawyers can help answer your questions in regards to receiving disability benefits, and how marriage impacts SSI recipients.
Contact the team at Ortega Disability Group today and we’ll help you understand your options. It is our chief goal to help you find the best solution to your unique situation.