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What Kind of Disability Benefits Can I Get For My Spouse?

If you are currently married and you or your spouse are currently receiving some sort of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, you may wonder if your marital status could entitle you to some additional benefits. Alternatively, you may wonder if your marital status can affect how much you or your spouse could receive in disability benefits each month.

The truth is: it depends whether you’re receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both. It’s worth understanding an overview of different disability benefits programs, but here, we will address specific questions pertaining to spousal disability benefits.

Table of Contents

Do spousal benefits exist for SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance allows for family members to receive auxiliary benefits. Therefore, SSDI auxiliary benefits apply to spouses. However, there is a limit to how much your family members can receive in auxiliary benefits if you yourself receive SSDI each month.

Your spouse can receive up to 50% of your disability benefit amount in auxiliary benefits. However, there is a cap on how much your family can receive all together. The total amount that you and your family can receive in SSDI and auxiliary benefits combined is usually up to 150% to 180% of your disability benefit, but can vary depending on your situation.

Even if your divorced spouse receives auxiliary benefit, their benefits do not apply to the amount counted toward your “cap” in this situation.

Do spousal benefits exist for SSI?

SSI does not provide spousal disability benefits. However, being married does affect how much you can get in SSI monthly payments. Supplemental Security Income serves as a source of income for people with disabilities and/or limited income or resources.

The maximum amount of monthly SSI benefits is updated each year. In 2024, the monthly maximum SSI payment is $943 for a single person and $1,415 for a married couple. This means a married couple on SSI gets about 25% less than what two unmarried SSI recipients can get combined.

What if my spouse is deceased? Are there widow or widower benefits?

If your spouse received SSDI or otherwise had sufficient work credits to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you may be able to receive Disabled Widow(er) Benefits if you fit all of the following criteria:

  • You are at least 50 years old.
  • You are not yet 60 years old.
  • You meet the Social Security’s definition of disability.
  • You were married to your spouse for at least 9 months before the spouse died.
  • You are currently unmarried.
  • You are not entitled to an equal or higher amount of Social Security retirement benefits based on your own work history.

If you meet these requirements, there is a “prescribed period” or window of time from the death of your spouse during which you still meet the criteria for Disabled Widow(er) Benefits. This period is determined by a specific beginning and end date. The beginning date is usually determined by the month that the spouse died (with some exceptions) and the ending date is usually 84 months after, or the month before the surviving spouse turns 60, whichever comes first.

Consult A Social Security Disability Attorney Today

If you want to know whether you or your spouse can get spousal disability benefits, discuss your situation with a Social Security disability attorney. Our disability consultations are completely free to you. If you choose to retain a disability advocate from National Disability Alliance, our services will not cost you anything out of pocket. Call us today at 833-MY-DISABILITY.

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