If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a qualified individual, you may have questions about your benefits if you plan to get married. We are most commonly asked, “will my SSI go down if I get married?” to which the simple answer is yes.
SSI is available to those individuals who have low income and few resources, and meet one of the following requirements:
- Age 65 or older
SSI is not based on past earnings, which is why present financial resources and income are factored in when calculating potential benefits. If you or someone you know currently receives SSI benefits and are considering getting married, questions may arise about future benefits.
How Will My SSI Go Down If I Get Married?
Your SSI will be impacted by your decision to get married, as the Social Security Administration (SSA) identifies needs for SSI benefits based on income and financial resources.
Marriage can impact your SSI benefits in a number of ways depending on what kind of benefits you are receiving. When you get married, the SSA “deems” or counts a portion of your partner’s income and financial resources as your own. This could potentially dramatically reduce or diminish your SSI benefits if your partner’s income puts you over the strict income limit.
In 2019, the full SSI payment is listed as $771 per individual. Whereas the full payment for couples is $1,157, which is a few hundred dollars less than you would receive as an unmarried couple.
If you and your spouse are both receiving SSI benefits, it is important to recognize how the decision to get married will impact both of your SSI benefits. If you’d like help with calculating your potential change or loss in benefits, contact one of our knowledgeable representatives.
Types of Income Recognized By SSA
There are several types of income recognized by the Social Security Administration when evaluating your SSI.
- Earned Income: Any wages and net earnings from self-employment, honaria, certain royalties, and sheltered workshop programs.
- Unearned Income: All income that is not earned, such as Social Security benefits, state disability payments, unemployment benefits, pensions, and currency gifts from friends and relatives.
- In-Kind Income: Food or shelter you receive for free or less than the fair market price.
- Deemed Income: The portion of the income of your spouse, your parents, or a sponsor — with whom you live — that the SSA uses to determine your SSI allotment amount.
Let Us Help You!
Attempting to maneuver through the jumbled world of SSI benefits and rules can be daunting and confusing when managed alone. We are here to help!
Our team of experts are available to answer each of your questions on how your SSI benefits will be impacted by marriage. We can aid you in making informed life decisions that may impact your SSI benefits and claim.
Call us today at the number above to speak with a representative to help you start this journey.