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How can marriage impact SSI-related benefits?

When disabled individuals in Oklahoma meet the basic requirements to receive Supplemental Security Income of disability, blindness, being 65 or older and having limited income and resources, it can be a concern as to when the situation might change to render them ineligible for SSI. Such a case can come about when the person gets married. The SSI benefits can be impacted by marriage and the spouse's income and resources. It is important to understand the rules related to marriage and SSI to address potential problems.

If the SSI recipient marries a person who is ineligible for SSI and the couple resides in the same household, part of that spouse's income can be counted as belonging to the SSI recipient. With that, the amount the eligible person gets in SSI-related benefits will be reduced. It can even lead to the person being ineligible to get benefits. When resources are counted, the value of the spouse's property and money will be calculated. There can be various exclusions when eligibility is determined. If the spouse is eligible for SSI, the combined income will be calculated and counted as a couple. For resources, it will be combined and calculated with various exclusions.

The benefits will be based on the person's marital status at the start of a month. If the person gets married even on the first day of the month, that person will still be considered single until the beginning of the next month. For a marriage that ends, the same holds true and the status will change when the next month begins. If both parties are eligible after they have gotten married or the marriage ends, the couple will be treated as if they are eligible for the month in which they married or divorced. The parties will be considered individually eligible if they meet the requirements for SSI as individuals during that month.

Eligibility for SSI can be confusing. This is especially true as life-changes occur. One significant decision that people make is to get married or to get divorced. While they might not realize that this could be important with their SSI benefits, it can reduce or even end their eligibility. For those who need help with SSI Supplemental Security Income after their marital status has changed, it is important to get the right information.

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The Law Center for Social
Security Disability

414 NW 4th Street Suite 140
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Phone: 405-896-8852
Fax: 405-272-0367
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