Will You Lose Your Social Security Benefits If You Get Married?

You have found the love of your life and you are fully ready to tie the knot. There is only one big problem getting in the way of the two of you solidifying your matrimony legally: you are afraid you will lose your Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to marriage and Social Security benefits, and it is best to know the facts before you choose to forgo the traditional marriage or living arrangements with someone you wish to share your life with. Here are a few things you need to know about Social Security benefits and marriage. 

You should not lose Social Security Disability payments if you get married. 

As long as you are drawing Social Security Disability (SSD) payments from your own work record, you will not lose your benefits if you get married. The only times that losing your SSD payments would be a concern is if you are still receiving payments from a parent or spouse who has passed away. For example, if you continued to receive SSD payments from your spouse after they died, these benefits could stop if you do get married, but it will depend on your age at the time of the marriage. 

You could lose Social Security SSI if you get married. 

SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is a completely different thing than SSD. Both are often awarded on the same basis, which is that you are disabled and unable to work. However, SSI is affected by spousal income. Some of the income that your spouse brings in will be counted toward your own income, which means you may fall out of the bracket to qualify for payments if you get married. This is especially true if your spouse has a substantial income. 

Your spouse's SSD or SSI income could affect your Social Security benefits. 

Even though SSD and SSI are unearned income, they are income just the same. It is a common misconception that these forms of income do not count as actual income between a married couple. However, if your spouse is drawing SSD and you are drawing SSI, your benefits could be affected if they are drawing a substantial amount of money every month. This is especially the case if they make money in other ways or have a secondary retirement fund or something relative to provide additional income to the household. 

Contact a service, like Law Center For Social Security Rights, for more help.