Q. I own my own business but it is barely making ends meet. My girlfriend is on social security. We want to get married. Can she still get Social Security even if we get married?
A. The answer to your question depends on the type of benefit your girlfriend is receiving. Marriage or remarriage never affects an individual’s right to his or her own Social Security benefit whether it is a retirement benefit or a Disability Insurance benefit.
If your girlfriend is receiving a Social Security benefit as a dependent child or Disabled Adult Child of a deceased, retired or disabled parent, marriage is likely to cancel her right to a benefit. In general, a child who marries is no longer a parent’s dependent.
Marriage also affects Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI is not Social Security. It is an assistance benefit based on need. When an SSI recipient marries, the income and resources of both husband and wife must be counted in determining need.
Prior to marriage, you and your girlfriend may wish to schedule an appointment at your local Social Security office to discuss her current benefit and how marriage might affect that benefit.