Marriage Can Impact Your Social Security Benefits

If you receive Social Security benefits, getting married has an impact on most types of benefits. Here are several types of benefits and a brief discussion of how marriage could impact the amount of your benefits:

  • Retirement benefits are calculated individually for each spouse. A spouse can receive 50 percent of the other’s benefits if that 50 percent amount is greater than the spouse’s own retirement benefits. This is a great benefit for spouses who may not have spent as much time in the workforce and would, thus, not ordinarily be entitled to receive a high amount of benefits.
  • For those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits, marriage should not affect your SSDI benefits. SSDI benefits are based on your disability and your ability to work, so a spouse does not ordinarily change your SSDI eligibility.
  • Adult child benefits are available for disabled adults under 22 who receive benefits as a result of a parent’s passing away or a parent’s beginning to receive retirement or disability benefits. If you are receiving these benefits and get married, you generally lose your disability benefits.
  • If you receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits, you may experience a drastic reduction (or even a complete elimination) of your benefits. This occurs because SSI benefits are for lower income Americans, and the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) includes in your income certain “deemed income,” which is money from your spouse or others that helps support you. In short, if your new spouse takes in too much money, you may lose your SSI benefits.
  • See yesterday’s post for our discussion about how divorce and remarriage affects several different types of Social Security benefits.

Do you receive Social Security benefits and did you recently get married? Did your marriage have any impact on your benefits?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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