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  • Christopher Le

Can my spouses earnings affect my ability to collect SSI or Social Security Disability?

Some people receive disability through the SSDI program and others may receive SSI benefits. Some may be eligible for both SSDI and SSI. The amount of monthly benefits you may receive depends on various factors, including which program pays your disability, what your work history looks like, and in some situations, your marital status and living arrangement.

SSDI Benefit Calculations

Your monthly SSDI benefit amount is based on an average of your previous earnings history. The social security taxes that you paid are what qualify you for SSDI. Therefore the income of your spouse isn’t considere in whether you qualify for SSDI benefits.

Married Couples and SSI

When SSA calculates SSI for a married person, a portion of the spouse’s income is “deemed” or assigned to the SSI recipient. This means that a percentage of your spouse’s earnings is considered yours, and since there are strict income and financial resource limits in order to be eligible for SSI, the deemed income could put you over the SSI limit. Even if it doesn’t make you totally ineligible for SSI benefits, it would likely reduce the amount of SSI benefits you receive monthly.

If your spouse also receives SSI benefits, then the two of you may remain eligible, but the amount of your monthly benefits may decrease. When both spouses in a marriage receive SSI, there is a monthly maximum for their combined benefit payments. This means that you and your spouse cannot receive more than a certain amount in SSI monthly. For year 2021, the SSI limit for couples is $1,194 per month.

Your Living Situation and SSI

SSA will consider all income aa well as your financial resources when deciding if you Are eligible for SSI. If you qualify for SSI, your income, assets and and financial resources will be used to figure out your monthly benefit amount. When SSA looks at financial resources, they will look at your living arrangements. This means that your monthly payment could be decreased if someone pays for your housing, food, utility costs, or other living expenses.

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