Navigating Special Scenarios: Are You and Your Spouse Eligible for Disability Benefits through Social Security?

Applying for Social Security disability, appealing a denial, and navigating the landscape of Social Security benefits can be an incredibly complex task. This daunting task is compounded when multiple family members, e.g., two spouses, receive disability benefits or are applying for SSDI benefits. There are special case scenarios and circumstances that can arise from this complex network of social security disability claims.

Couple Sitting On Couch Discussing With Attorney

If you are a spouse applying for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, while your spouse is on another disability program, it is important to understand how these programs might interact with each other. This understanding is crucial to maintaining the financial health of your family while ensuring you receive the benefits you deserve.


Can Both Spouses Receive Disability Payments At The Same Time?

Both Spouses Receive SSDI:

In the case of both spouses receiving SSDI, both are eligible, provided they meet the program’s qualifications. Social Security Disability Insurance is based on an individual’s accumulated work credits and highest earning years. Each application and claim, in this situation, is treated independently. The Social Security Administration does not factor in the decision of one spouse’s SSDI claim or decision to then approve or deny another spouse’s SSDI claim.

One Spouse Receives SSDI While Another Receives SSI:

If one spouse receives SSI and another receives SSDI, the spouse filing for, or currently receiving SSI benefits, can have their benefits impacted by the other spouse receiving SSDI. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program where eligibility is determined by household income. Therefore, if one spouse is receiving SSDI payments, these payments can reduce or disqualify the other spouse’s SSI benefits.

Both Spouses Receive SSI:

If both spouses are applying for, or are currently receiving SSI benefits individually, and subsequently marry, their respective claims and payments are impacted. As stated prior, Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program that factors household income into eligibility and payment benefits.

If both individuals are receiving SSI payments and then marry, there is a possibility of receiving what is known as a “marriage penalty,” where the SSI benefits received while married are less than if the two individuals were receiving SSI as independent claimants. This is due to the presumption of economies of scale, which implies that shared costs are reduced.

If You Have Been Denied, We Are Here To Help

If you have been denied, we are here to help. At Michael Armstrong Law, we bring over 33 years of experience in helping New Mexico residents appeal unfavorable Social Security Disability decisions. Our advocacy and compassion ensure that your voice is heard and your unique circumstances are recognized by the federal court system. Contact our office today, and let us assist you in securing the benefits you need to maintain your financial health and that of your family.

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