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Effect Of Spousal Income On Disability Benefits

When it comes to disability benefits, one main question is how the income affects your Supplementary Support Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) eligibility.

It is important to note that the income caters to the SSI disability benefits and not the social security disability benefits.

Social security benefits have an important place in family law. SSI is the low income, need based disability program to which the spouse’s income can be linked to. The SSDI is not linked to this matter since it has no income limits.

What does the law say?

The law states that if your husband/wife is employed and makes an income, then as per the SSI program, it would be considered part of the spouse’s income available to you. There is a negative correlation between spousal income and SSI payments (more income will translate into lower SSI payments).

Using legal services

In cases where there is confusion, legal counseling and services of professional disability lawyers is an asset. Therefore, using services that fast track your SS disability application is a viable strategy to go with. That way, the paperwork is accounted for in an legitimate manner and claims are received within a short span of time.

Different Income Scenarios

As per the law, it has to be determined if your spouse’s income is “deem-able” or not. If the income is subject to deeming, then deduction can be made from your SSI benefits. Income in excess of $349/ month is considered in the deem-able category.

If you have children, then the limit is changed to in excess of $710. With each child, an excess of $350 can be added to estimate if your spouse’s income is subject to deeming.

The application for deeming a spouse’s income is a complicated calculation, and can be understood in a better way with different income examples.

Case 1

Let’s suppose that your spouse’s annual salary is $30,000 and you have no children. That would account for a monthly income of $2,500. The Fed has a SSI income limit of $1,066 for a couple.

As per the social security guidelines, $1,200 is considered as deem-able in this case. When compared with the SSI rate of $1,066, it would mean that you would not be eligible for SSI due to the income of your spouse.

Case 2

Let’s say your spouse’s annual salary is $15,600 and you have two children. This would make up $1,300 per month, and for the deem-able calculations, $200 out of it would be for you. When compared with SSI couple’s payment of $1,048, you would be eligible for $848.

However, your monthly payment for SSI would be $710 since this is Federal limit. More allowance can be made, but that varies from state to state. Notice how in case no. 2, due to the children, the eligibility issue was resolved.

Based upon the simplification that has been provided above, you can check your eligibility for the benefits, and how much you are legally entitled to. Also, disability based benefits vary in different states.

So after calculating the federal benefits, you can compare any additional money you are entitled to receive (known as the state supplementary payment for SSI). Legal help would streamline the process in most cases. 


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