SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Will the income of a Spouse Affect My Disability Benefits?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income, a.k.a. SSI disability, your spouse’s income may affect the amount of your monthly disability benefit. SSI only considers a spouse’s income if they live in the household with you.
Social Security may consider your live-in partner as spouse if you hold yourselves out to friends, community, and family as "husband and wife" even if you have not legally married. Therefore, their income would be counted the same as a legal spouse, which might cause your SSI monthly disability benefits to change. Whether or not your SSI benefit will be reduced and by how much depends upon your spouse’s earnings.
Your spouse’s income affects your SSI disability benefit amount because SSI is a need based disability program. As with all social help programs, one's eligibility and benefit amount depend upon income and resources. Income related issues are one of the leading causes for overpayments in the SSI disability program. It is advisable to report all living arrangement changes and income promptly.
Social Security disability, on the other hand, is not a need-based disability program. Therefore, income or resources (i.e. assets) do not affect disability benefits. If your spouse has income it will not affect your Social Security disability amount, whereas if you receive SSI and your spouse has income, that spousal income may very well affect your SSI.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page