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How Does a New Marriage Affect My Disability Payments?

Questions swirl around Social Security disability payments. The process remains confusing and elusive at times. Atlantic County Social Security offices assist in clarifying the issues. However, the basic information below may also help.

When you get married, your Social Security reimbursements can be affected. Whether you are collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) bears on the impact marriage has on benefits. Marriage itself directly affects SSDI benefits in particular cases but not in others. With SSI, marriage does not directly affect benefits, but the potential change in household income evokes adjustments. It is vital to know which benefits you receive.

SSDI is affected depending on who is accruing the work credits required to maintain coverage. If you claim the disability and the benefits are based on your work record, the payment remains unchanged. If you are receiving benefits under a disabled parent’s work record, marriage will stop all payments. An exception exists when a disabled adult child marries another disabled adult child. In this case, benefits may not be lost.

If you receive benefits as a divorced spouse of a previous marriage, SSDI payments will end with the new marriage. In the case of a widow, divorced widow, widower or divorced widower, two principles apply. One, if you remarry before age 60, your payments stop. And two, If you are disabled and marry before age 50, benefits will not continue.

SSI proves a different scenario. Approval of awards under SSI is based on income and resource limits. When you marry, a portion of your spouse’s income and resources count as your revenues and assets in SSI determination. Included in this assessment are work earnings, SSDI payments and other income. The resulting numbers may affect the amount of your SSI benefit. For example, if your spouse earns a decent wage, the additional figures will exceed social security limits. In this case, your benefits could be reduced or stopped altogether.

If your spouse also receives SSI, the payment amount becomes a couple’s rate rather than two individual rates. It is likely that you will see a reduction in payment amount in this case. The full SSI payment for a couple is typically less than double the individual payment.

Children who receive benefits under the age of 18 or as a student at age 18 or 19 lose payments when they marry.

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