Getting married? It may affect your disability benefits

by Jun 18, 2016

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Some Knoxville residents suffer from cerebral palsy, and as a result, are wheelchair bound. They may receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in the form of Disabled Adult Child payments. But, if they fall in love and get married, those benefits may be at jeopardy. Even worse, if one is nonetheless approved, they may find themselves in the untenable position of owing benefits for wrongfully paid benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration, those who receive Disabled Adult Child benefits can no longer collect them, if they get married. If one is receiving them, the Social Security Administration may even demand that payment within 30 days. This is exactly what happened to one man, who is now left wondering how he is going to cope not only without benefits, but also with a massive refund bill.

There are other ways that getting married can affect one’s disability benefits. For example, if they receive Supplemental Security Income, the maximum amount an individual can receive is $733. But, if one is married, both are entitled to receive Supplemental Security Income, as a couple they can only receive $1,100. Moreover, even if one is not legally married, the Social Security Administration may treat them as if they cohabitate with their partner, sharing a bed, a home and bank accounts, among other things.

The man in our above example obtained a part time job, and sought the help of an attorney to determine how often they will pay the Social Security Administration and how much. However, how it took the Social Security Administration years to determine he was not eligible for benefits remains a mystery.

In the meantime, it is important to keep in mind, there are many conditions that may come with receiving disability benefits that one might not even know about. Therefore, individuals who receive disability benefits should make sure to read the fine print, and consult with an attorney, if there is anything they do not understand.

Source: The Progressive, “When Marriage and Social Security Don’t Mix,” Mike Ervin, Aug. 26, 2016