Today, we want to talk about marriage. You may be wondering “Why do you want to talk about that? I thought we were going to talk about disability?” Well, sometimes in some cases, marriage can be an important factor, and in other cases it can not be an important factor. Let’s explain the difference, because many times we will receive this question: “Will getting married affect my Social Security disability case?”

Will Getting Married Affect My Social Security Disability Case?

If your case is through Social Security disability, to figure out if you are eligible for Social Security benefits, Social Security will look at your work history. Social Security is looking for things like how much you have worked, how much you have paid into the system, etc. If you have worked enough and have continually paid into the system, then you can try to get benefits through Social Security. Social Security does not normally care if you are married or not. They just want to know if you have worked enough. However…

Widows and Widowers

However, there is an exception for widow or widowers claims. If you have not worked enough but you are a widow or widower and your deceased spouse did pay enough into the system (and you can meet other technical requirements), then you may be able to get benefits based on your spouse’s earnings history.

SSI and Family Income

Where marriage becomes a real issue is if you are trying to get disability benefits through SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. Now, The Supplemental Security Income Disability Program is administered by the Social Security Administration, but it is an asset based program. What is an asset based program?

Asset Based Program

An asset based program means that the first thing Social Security looks at is what you own, how much money you have, and how much income you have. This is where marriage does become a factor because Social Security looks at family income. So, you may not be working because of your illnesses, but your spouse is working. Social Security will look at your situation and look at what the family income is, how much money your spouse makes, how much money that you jointly have in the bank, etc. to determine if you meet the asset limitations under SSI disability. 

So, marriage certainly doesn’t prevent anyone from applying for Social Security disability, but it does become an issue when looking at family income when applying through SSI disability. On the other side, Social Security does not care about family income or how much money your family has. You could be Bill Gates with billions of dollars, but they do not care about that. They care about if you have medical evidence to prove that you fit their definition of disabled.

About Disability Associates

Our team at Disability Associates, a Social Security Disability Law Firm in Baltimore, views our clients as more than just another case. We build genuine relationships with each and every one of our clients to ensure that they are comfortable during this stressful time. We value honesty, good communication, and compassion, and implement these values with every client we have. In building these relationships, our clients trust that we will provide competent representation and will do our best to get them the Social Security benefits they deserve.