Wedding RingsCan Getting Married Affect my SSI Payments?

What is SSI?

Title XVI Benefits, better known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provide assistance to aged, blind, and disabled people who have minimum to no income or resources. SSI benefits are available to those individuals who have been found disabled under the Social Security Administrations guideline. The definition of “disability” is the same for Title II and Title XVI benefits. A person will be found disabled if he or she cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity due to a mental or physical impairment which has lasted or expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.

When determining eligibility for SSI the Social Security Administration looks at multiple factors. For example, a person’s income is broken down into two categories:

  • Earned income includes all wages, net earnings from self-employment and royalties from publications.
  • Unearned income is all other income in cash or kind.
    • Examples of unearned income include: payments received from a pension or retirement fund, disability benefits, inheritance, gifts, food and shelter.

Can getting married really change my SSI eligibility and payments?

Yes, marriage can and often does change a person’s eligibility for SSI. At the very least, marriage will affect the amount of monthly benefits received. Your spouse’s income and assets may affect your eligibilit for SSI. If your spouse’s income is too high, you could lose your benefits all together.

When two people decide to get married and are both eligible and receiving SSI benefits, their “individual” status becomes that of a “couple.” In 2014 the maximum amount an individual can receive in SSI benefits is $8,529.32. However, an eligible couple can only receive $12,792.55 total. When you have a change in circumstances, such as getting married, you must disclose that information to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. If you’ve been denied social security benefits after becoming disabled, call us today, always a free consolation at 704-333-0885. Or chat with us on our website 24/7.

Written by Logan Reilly, Attorney; Social Security Department, Campbell & Associates, Attorneys at Law