Q. I am in my early 20s and on Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid because I have been sick since I was 12. Now I am thinking about getting married, and I’m worried about losing Medicaid and SSI. I only get the smallest amount now because I live with my parents. The man I want to marry is sick as well and on SSDI. How does this affect me? How can I get married and not lose everything I need?
A. If you marry, your husband’s income must be considered in determining whether you remain entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. In 2019, the maximum SSI rate for a couple is $1,157. There is a $20 disregard of income from any source and a $65 earned income disregard before SSI is offset. Additional earned income reduces SSI $1 for each $2 of earnings over $65 a month.
Since you became disabled before age 22, you could be entitled to Social Security Disabled Adult Child benefits and Medicare when a wage-earning parent becomes disabled, retires or dies. Marriage may affect your future right to these benefits. However, that is not always the case. Marriage to another disabled Social Security beneficiary does not always nullify a right to a Disabled Adult Child benefit.
Please make an appointment at your local Social Security office to fully discuss eligibility criteria for both SSI and Social Security Disabled Adult Child benefits. You will want to have a thorough understanding of both before making a decision regarding marriage.