The Effects of Marital Status on Social Security Disability Benefits

Unraveling the mysteries of Social Security Disability benefits can be challenging and rife with frustration. It is, however, important in order to understand benefits and how to access them. Along the way, you will likely come up with more and more questions. For instance, how does marital status impact Social Security Disability benefits? Here, we will explore the various ways in which your marital status can impact your benefits.

The Effects of Marital Status on Social Security Disability Benefits

To start off, it is important to recognize that income threshold for Social Security Disability benefits is one of the key factors that can be influenced by marital status. You see, benefits are determined based on an individual’s work history and earnings. When married, a disability applicant’s household income is considered, including their spouse’s income. This can have both positive and negative effects on eligibility, as a higher household income may reduce the likelihood of approval, while a lower income might increase the chances of qualifying for benefits.

Marital status can also influence the consideration of assets when determining eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. While assets are not typically considered in the disability application process, Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—a program for low-income individuals with disabilities—does take into account the resources and income of both spouses. Understanding these asset limits is crucial for couples navigating the SSI application process.

Furthermore, for married individuals, there is an additional dimension to Social Security Disability benefits—spousal benefits. If one spouse is eligible for disability benefits, the other spouse may also be entitled to receive spousal benefits. This can be particularly beneficial for couples where one partner has a disability, providing an additional source of financial support to the household.

Marital status can also have implications for healthcare coverage. Medicaid, which provides health coverage for individuals with low income, takes into account the combined income and resources of married couples. For couples where one spouse is disabled, understanding the impact on Medicaid eligibility is essential. On the other hand, Medicare, the federal health insurance program for individuals aged 65 and older or those with certain disabilities, is not affected by marital status.

For individuals who were married but are not divorced, it’s important to note that divorce does not necessarily sever all ties to Social Security benefits. Ex-spouses may still be eligible for disability or survivor’s benefits based on their former spouse’s work history, provided they meet certain criteria. Understanding the rules surrounding divorce and Social Security benefits is important for those who have experienced a change in marital status.

Contact Our Disability Attorneys Today

As you can see, marital status plays a significant role in determining Social Security Disability benefits eligibility and the overall financial landscape for individuals with disabilities. Whether married, single, or divorced, it is essential to navigate the intricacies of Social Security programs with a clear understanding of how marital status can impact benefits. Have questions? The team at Disability Advocates has answers for you. Contact us today.

About the Author

Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

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