Friday, July 4, 2008

What Happens If An SSI Disabled Person Marries?

Could you tell me what happens to SSI benefits if the disabled person marries? Do the benefits become affected if one marries someone who is not on SSI, and is working full time?
Mara from Washington State

To answer your second question first: yes. SSI payments are affected by the income and resources of an ineligible spouse. This is because such payments are based on need rather than your earnings record, as in the case of regular social security disability benefits (SSD benefits).

So, effective with the first day of the month you marry, your husband’s income and assets will be deemed to be yours. Depending on the amount of the earnings and assets, you may become ineligible for SSI, or your monthly payment amount may be reduced.

As an SSI recipient you are required by law to report any change in your marital status.

Contrariwise, regular SSD benefits, based on your earning's record, are not affected by your husband’s income at all because they are not based on need. Many people confuse SSI disability payments with SSD benefits, but they are very different, one being a federal welfare program, the other a social insurance program paid for by the worker’s prior payroll taxes. Some people receive payments under both programs, if the amount of the SSD is smaller than the SSI payment. In such a case only the SSI payment is affected.

No comments: