Can Spousal Income Affect Your Disability Benefits?


Applying for disability benefits is a complex and lengthy process with many conditions to consider when determining eligibility. One of these conditions considered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) includes marital status and how much your spouse earns to support your household. So, does spousal income affect your eligibility for disability benefits? The answer depends on what type of benefits you’re seeking.

Does Spousal Income Count for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI)?

Your spouse’s income does not affect your eligibility for SSDI. SSDI is based on your work history and contributions to the Social Security system through payroll taxes. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, and you must have worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security.

Does Spousal Income Count for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Your spouse’s income can affect your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a need-based program to provide financial assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. When determining your eligibility for SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration considers your and your spouse’s income, along with other factors such as resources and living arrangements.

If you’re married to someone who isn’t eligible for SSI and live together, the Social Security Administration may count a portion of your spouse’s income and resources as yours. This can potentially reduce your SSI benefits or render you ineligible for them altogether. Similarly, if you have an eligible spouse, your combined income and resources are considered when calculating your SSI benefit as a couple.

Ultimately, the rules differ depending on whether your spouse is eligible for SSI. If your spouse is eligible, their income and resources are counted along with yours. If they’re not eligible, a portion of their income and the value of their resources (after certain exclusions) are counted as yours. Additionally, the regulations specify that regardless of your age, if you’re married, you’re not considered a child for SSI purposes.

Change of Marital Status and SSI

Regarding changes in marital status, SSI benefits are determined based on your marital status at the beginning of each month. If you get married, you’re treated as single until the following month; if your marriage ends, you’re treated as married until the following month. However, there are exceptions if you and your spouse meet eligibility requirements after getting married or after the marriage ends, in which case your benefits may be adjusted accordingly.

These rules are outlined to ensure SSI benefits are accurately assessed based on your marital circumstances and eligibility criteria.

It’s important to note that the rules and thresholds can vary depending on your state and individual circumstances, so it is best to consult with a Social Security representative or attorney specializing in disability benefits to get personalized guidance based on your situation.

Speak With Our Experienced Social Security Disability Law Firm for Free

At Disability Attorneys of Michigan, we know the ins and outs of Social Security and work closely with families to help secure the life-changing benefits they could be entitled to by law. If you have recently become disabled and need help, contact us today for a case evaluation. You won’t pay any fees unless approved — we don’t get paid until you do.

Contact us today by submitting a form online or calling our office at 800-949-2900 for a free case evaluation.



I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

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