Q. Is a person receiving Social Security disability also entitled to receive half of the husband’s Social Security retirement? Do a disabled husband and wife have to pay federal or state tax?


A. A wife receives whichever is greater — her own Social Security or half of her husband’s Social Security benefit (reduced if begun before full retirement age). Both benefits are not payable.

There is no provision in Federal tax law exempting Social Security disability benefits from taxation. Social Security benefits are taxed if adjusted gross income plus half of Social Security is over $25,000 for an individual or $32,000 for a couple. State law determines how benefits are taxed by the state.