Many people wonder: can a spouse and wife both receive Social Security Disability benefits? The answer is YES! If your spouse is receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you can receive benefits as well.
There are two programs where you can receive income from Social Security.
One program is SSDI, meaning you’ve paid FICA taxes for the required number of years. It does not matter if your spouse is also receiving benefits since SSDI is not based upon need, therefore there is no limit to the amount of income in the household.
The other program is SSI, which is a need-based program. It supplements your income when you aren’t making enough. Before an individual is approved for SSI, their spouse’s disability benefits must be taken into consideration. There is a maximum amount of income that a couple can receive on SSI.
How Can Both Spouses Receive Benefits?
The answer is simple. As long as both you and your spouse can meet the following requirements (each), you both can be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Benefits.
You will need medical evidence to show that you each meet the criteria under one of the SSA’s Impairment Listings. Evidence will often include: Medical records, treatment notes and outcomes, medical imaging scans, lab testing results, and other important information regarding abilities or prognosis.
If you do not meet the specific criteria in a listing, you may qualify based on a residual functional capacity assessment (RFC). This assessment determines your ability to work based on medical evidence, an evaluation by your doctor, and an evaluation from an SSA doctor. If the assessment shows you cannot work, you will likely qualify for benefits.
Your disability must prevent you from working for at least 12 months. And, you must each have enough work credits based on your age.
What About SSI?
Both spouses can be approved for SSI (Supplemental Income) as long as they are disabled and the household income meets Social Security requirements.
Because SSI is a need-based program, only those with extremely low incomes and few assets will qualify for benefits.
Unlike SSDI, which only looks at an individual ‘s earned income, SSI considers almost any income that comes into your household. This would include your spouse’s SSDI or SSI payments. If both spouses are on SSI, each will get a reduced amount because there is an SSI limit for spouses living together.
Depending on the situation, you could even lose your current SSI benefits if your spouse receives SSDI. The additional income could put your over the cut-off point for SSI.
Call Us Today for Assistance!
If you need help filing for disability, you can speak with one of our disability experts when you call the number above. Let us lead you step by step and answer any questions you may have about whether you and your spouse can both receive Social Security Disability benefits.