Getting Married Soon? Give Social Security Your New Name

Wedding-SeasonEvery year, June marks the beginning of two busy seasons: summer and “wedding season.” With joyful expectation, many of us have already marked our calendars and started wrapping up our plans for the vacations, ceremonies, and honeymoons. While the betrothed work out the details, Social Security wants to remind them about one detail that’s extremely important: the “record” Social Security keeps of your life’s earnings.

For many people, a wedding often means a name change is in order. If you are legally changing your name, you need to apply for a replacement Social Security card reflecting your new name. If you’re working, also tell your employer. That way, Social Security can keep track of your earnings history as you go about living your wonderful new life.

If you have reported income under your former or maiden name, and didn’t inform us of a change, we might not have received an accurate W-2 and your earnings may have been recorded incorrectly. This is easier to fix now — when you first change your name — than years from now when you retire, when it may cause delays in receiving your benefits. This is important because we base your future benefits on your earnings record. So, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber, or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), to find out what specific documents you need to change your name and to apply for a replacement card.

Last year, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry regardless of where they live within the United States. As a result, Social Security recognizes more same-sex couples as married for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. We recently updated instructions for employees to process claims and appeals when a determination of marital status is necessary.

With these changing rules, we encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for benefits to apply now. You can learn more about our policies for same-sex couples at www.ssa.gov/people/same-sexcouples.

After the honeymoon, you can focus on your career or starting a family, moving to a new home, and securing a well-deserved retirement. Now, you’re all set. Let the celebrations begin!

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183 thoughts on “Getting Married Soon? Give Social Security Your New Name

  1. I’m on social security and if I were to get married is my social security going to be lowered due to the husband driving truck.?

        • My new wife is on surviver benefits. How long do we have to notify social security of our marriage. We got married 8days ago.

          • Thank you for your question Tom, and congratulations in your recent marriage. Individuals must report any changes that may affect their benefits immediately, and no later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred. Failure to report a change may result in an overpayment.
            Your wife can contact the local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 to make a report. Representatives at our toll free number are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Please read our publication “What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits” for more information.

      • If my future wife works and 53,000 per year how will affect my income because I’m still expected to my part in the house hole

        • Hi Pierre! If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your marriage may affect your benefit. The amount of your SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income available to you and your spouse. Also, there are times when SSI benefit determinations are affected by a persons living arrangement.

          On the other hand, if you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, your marriage will not affect your benefit because these benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. Thanks!

    • Thank you for your question, Marie. If you get Social Security disability benefits and you marry, your benefit will stay the same. However, if someone gets disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program, getting married may affect their benefits. The amount of SSI benefits is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual. This includes income and resources available from his or her spouse.

      • Another exception might be is if she is getting disability on a parent ‘s account as a disabled adult child

        • This seems to be quite the topic right now. Please tell me more about this. All of this is so confusing. Any/all information about this particular facet of things (adult child receiving $$$ based on parent’s account) is important to our family.

  2. If I marry after I begin to draw my social security will my partner be eligible for my benefits after my death?

  3. My thoughts on this are two-fold. One, when you are young and just starting out and you are still working, it is not really necessary to change your name on your social security. I am referring to the name change decision apparently only a woman has to do. Changing your name does nothing but create another name under which you will be listed and can be more liable for identity theft. I worked for 40 years and did not change my name during my 14 years of marriage. I could still apply for my spousal benefits if my ex-husband made more than my social security benefits. Now the second opinion, changing name after 60 years if you marry at that age, I still don’t see the need. As a woman, if you were married prior to 60 and either lost husband due to death or divorce, you still are entitled to spousal benefits from that marriage, but if you remarry you are giving up those benefits, entirely, upon remarriage at any age (under 60 or over 60). And changing your name is still not necessary. The point being is that your social security number is the someone you got when you first got it. Keep your name.

    • This is unfortunately very poor advice. Many times your name and SSN are checked by other government agencies. It has nothing to do with earnings but everything with preventing the use of stolen ID with an old version of a name. The IRS and state tax authorities can reject your return if your W2 form name and the name on SSA’s records are mismatched. You can be declined for a driver’s license as well or a federal student grant.

  4. I’m on social security, the man I’m going to marry has not started taking his social security yet. Will my benefits change at all? I’ve been told that my benefit will be reduced.

    • Thank you for your question, Kathy. If you get Social Security disability benefits and you marry, your benefit will stay the same. However, if someone gets disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program, getting married may affect their benefits. The amount of SSI benefits is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual. This includes income and resources available from his or her spouse.

        • Thank you for your question. If you receive Social Security benefits as an adult disabled since childhood, the benefits generally end if you get married. However, some marriages (for example, to another adult disabled child) are considered protected. See Adult Child Benefits for more information.

      • Please help me to get my social Security (S.S) i mean how i can and where

        i am in second time in (Texas)USA on b1b2 visa and got married with US citizen please somebody help me what is the procedure and requirement ?

  5. Hey SSA–your field offices are always crammed & the waits are too long. It’s a huge pain in the neck to change one’s name……

    • Amy, you can schedule an appointment with your local office by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and a representative will assist you. Generally, with an appointment, you will be helped before our walk-in customers. If you need to call to set up an appointment in the future, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day.

  6. If I marry someone who is disabled and receiving SS disability do I receive benefits before a certain age if I’m unemployed also pending SS disability? And, in the event my SS disability is approved does my new husband receive benefits from me & vice versa? Confused on how that works. Thank you.

    • Good question. If you marry someone who is receiving Disability Benefits, you may collect his or her benefits at age 62 or older, unless you collect a higher Social Security benefit based on your own earnings record. The spouse benefit amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to his or her full retirement age. This goes for both you and your potential spouse. We hope this information is helpful.

      • Hi, I’m a disabled veteran who was disabled during my active service time. I’m married and receiving both SSDI AND a VA disability pension, my wife and I are both under 40. She is my primary at home companion and neither of us have worked in the private sector since I started receiving my disability pensions will she be able to receive benefits from both IF she outlives me? She has not updated her SSN records with the SSA or the IRS. Her state issued drivers License has the marriage name on it. We’ve been married for almost 10 years. My VA rating for my military service related disability is 100% permanent and Total. It is a very serious type of mental illness.

  7. I have a question. I am on SSI for mental illness but my PCP is stating I am pysically disabled as well. what kind of SSA would I get ? would I still get the SSI or the SSA & SSI together?

    • Thank you for your question. Yes, if you have low income and limited resources, you may be able to receive both benefits. Please keep in mind that Social Security has a strict definition of Disability. Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application. We hope this helps.

  8. Some people are scared to get married because they could lose their SSI and Adult Child disability benefits.

    Some of these people are not disabled and just milking the system.

    The SSA need to reduce the disability roll. The SSA need to tighten down on their rule. Claimants missing a doctor appointment is a failure to follow prescribed treatment. For the CDR process, it is a Group II exception.

  9. I am recently divorced. My married name was Marilyn Willis. I am returning to my maiden name, Marilyn Ackerman.
    What do I need to do?
    Thank you.

  10. My step brother died 4.27.16. His May check came. I gave the undertaker $400 and paying the rest.myself. Could not get ins. Caregivers can’t be beneficiary. Lost 1900 in escrow. 2000 in new furniture I bought him for xmas. I am living on someones floor now. You chargeback the funeral home and say I owe you $385.This is so cruel.Not even the $255 burial check. The electric bill for.april was.360. The gas 300. Lost 1900 escrow cause I didnt give 30 day notice. Like I knew he was gonna die. 2000 for new furniture. I got him for xmxmasI am 60 and can’t. Carry it out. We just moved in Nov.27. You give money my ttaxes to people who never paid a dime into it. My brother and I worked since we were 13. Please revise your decision. Why are you so cruel? I loved my brother and never left his side in 40 years.
    Thank you

  11. I’m a stay at home wife and my husband gets ssi. If I’m not bringing any money in will his check stay the same? We just got married.

  12. soon i will be getin married to raise my kids’future their will be a pilot,marine,doctor,antorney.to success america.

  13. SSR 82-59: TITLES II AND XVI: FAILURE TO FOLLOW PRESCRIBED TREATMENT
    Continuing Disability — The issue of “failure” may arise at the time of a continuing disability investigation where (1) subsequent to a prior favorable determination based on information indicating the individual was cooperating with prescribed treatment, the individual failed to follow through on such treatment or (2) treatment has been prescribed since the last determination. Such situations will require the same documentation as that outlined above to determine if “failure” exists and if it is justifiable. Benefits will be continued for 2 months after the month in which a determination of cessation occurs.

    The married person with kid suckered the SSA with these mental illness claim. They claim that their spouse or parents take care of the kid. They go see a psychologist /psychiatrist for treatment. They got approved for this level of treatment.

    Once they are approved, they stop seeing a psychologist /psychiatrist for treatment and just see a Primary Care Physician (PCP). They trick the SSA. They wouldn’t have been approved by just seeing the PCP so the went to a psychologist /psychiatrist. Now that they are approved, they don’t need to see them anymore.

  14. Primary Care Physician don’t treat people with a severe mental illness. They refer them to a specialist (psychologist /psychiatrist).

    • For someone who is receiving Supplemental Security Income or SSI, being married or even if living together but not legally married may affect his or her benefits. This is because the SSI benefit amount we pay is affected by your living arrangements. We also take into consideration a couple’s income, and resources for SSI benefits.
      For the person receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, marriage or living arrangements does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on your work activity and earnings prior to becoming disabled, and are not subject to income and resource limits.

      • My husband and i are seperated both disabled but he wants to move in but still separated will that affect our disability income

        • Good question. Moving in together will not affect your Disability Benefits (SSDI). However, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are based, in part, on your living arrangements and the number of people in the household. Therefore, if either of you are receiving SSI benefits, it is important to let us know promptly when any change occurs. Visit here to find your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  15. I have married a British citizen and have kept my name as it has been on my SS form and driving license and passport. When filling out the annual form for the SS ADMINISTRATION Do I still fill in as not married as the name has not changed? Thanks

  16. Hi, i have a question i married last december to an american citizen. I am here in USA with permanent residency. When i change my name to the social segurity, should i do with immigration as well? Many thanks
    ER

    • Hello Evelyn. In your case, we suggest that you first report your name change to the Department of Homeland Security and obtain a new permanent residence card showing your new married name before requesting that Social Security changes your name on our records. When you apply to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us original documents. Documents Social Security may accept include your marriage certificate and your (new) permanent resident card. Click here for more important information.

    • Thank you for your question Julis. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. We ask individuals to contact us about three months before their 65th birthday to sign up for Medicare. Generally, individuals receiving benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program are only eligible for Medicaid, which is a state-run program that provides hospital and medical coverage for people with low income. For more information, visit http://www.medicare.gov.

  17. je suis Idrissa Seydou je suis africain je cherche du travail au usa je cherche de l’aide Jai travailler dans le système des nation unis je vie au Niger le dernier pays de la planète donc Security social des états unis aider nous sil vous plait sorry
    merci

  18. Hello:

    I visited my local SSA office today for a replacement card in my married name, however, the representative informed me my name was too long (24 characters including space) and SSA can only submit 21 characters, which includes spaces.

    I asked her if she was serious…I’ve never heard of such. My husband’s entire name is on his SS card and it is 26 characters, including spaces.

    I would appreciate any feedback on this matter. Thank you!

    • According to our rules, there is a character limit. There are 26 spaces on the first line for your first and middle names and 26 spaces on the second line for the last name and suffix, if any. Neither the first or last names shown on the SSN card should be reduced in length, unless it exceeds the 26-character limit. We sometimes, must omit middle names, middle initials, and suffixes if they prevent us from showing as many characters as possible for the first and last names. Remember that your first and last name shown on your SSN card must agree with the first and last name shown on the document submitted as evidence of identity or legal name. Please continue working with your local office for further assistance in this matter.

  19. If you are an “ADULT DISABLED CHILD”- DO NOT marry someone who is “able bodied” because the Socialist Security System will use special “rules” to cut your benefits off (or deny them). It’s their way of legally discriminating against married people and justifying their prejudice of marriage.

    I am 100 percent completely and totally disabled (i have cerebal palsy) and have never had a productive job, career or anything. I am also an adult disabled child- as defined by socialist security. I have NEVER RECEIVED ONE RED CENT FROM SOCIAL SECURITY, EVER. I married my able bodied husband when I was 21 and applied for benefits as an adult disabled child, and was denied benefits.
    I have been denied for years because of the Socialist Security systems special “Rules” that discriminate against marriage.

    So, how does being married make me any less disabled? How did getting married- somehow magically cure my disability?

    The Socialist argue that getting married provides some kind of support for the disabled person. What escapes these intellectual geniuses, is that now you have two people trying to make a living off one income (because no one will hire a physically disabled person). Anyone can clearly see the Socialist Security rule, actually makes things A LOT harder for people in this situation? You have all the expense of someone who is completely and totally disabled, not able to find any gainful employment, and they are supossed to make it off one income from the able bodied person? – REALLY? who thinks this kind of stuff up?

    They say above ” After the honeymoon, you can focus on your career or starting a family, moving to a new home, and securing a well-deserved retirement. Now, you’re all set. Let the celebrations begin”! WHAT?

    After my honeymoon, all I got was a LIFETIME of financial struggle NIGHTMARE, consistant worry, a HUGE feeling that I was discriminated against (because I got married to an able bodied person), endless dead end jobs, 25 years of trying to figure out how to make it off only ONE income, all thanks to the SOCIALIST SECURITY ADMINISTRATION.

    Thanks for nothing!

  20. I’ve recently married. I’m not changing my name. My county clerk shared that I still had to visit the SSA local office to record my marriage. Why do I as the woman have to do this since my husband married me and there is no name change for either of us? Or do I have to go at all since I’m not changing my name.

    I’ve worked 20 years as a professional and changing my name just is not worth the trouble.

    • Thanks for your question and congratulations on your marriage Suz. Changing your name is a personal decision. When you marry, you are free to keep your own name or take your spouse’s name. There is no time limit or requirement for a name change after marriage. However, if you do decide to change your name on your Social Security card, you must complete an application for a new Social Security card and show us a document that proves your legal name change. For complete instructions, please go to Social Security Number and Card. Thanks!

      • Thanks for advising on the name change part. Do I still have to visit the local SSA office to advise of my marriage? Is that required so that both my new husband and I are connected in the record system?

        I didn’t visit the office when I divorced my ex-husband.

  21. Hello I’m so confused please Help……
    I was recently married, my new husband was born in Mexico & I need to know before I go file an application to change my name to my newly married name if he has 2 last names or surnames (that are not hyphenated) on his legal birth certificate, when I fill it out which of his 2 last names do I take as my new last name or do I have take them both?? I know that typically in the U.S. you only have 1 last name but I’m unsure as to what the regulations are when it comes to a woman marrying a foreign national from a country where it’s typical for them to have 2 last names. I have a friend whose husband (also foreign) has 2 last names but his are hyphenated & she told me that since there was a hyphen between the names on his legal birth certificate she had to use both names, but my husbands are not hyphenated so it confused me & I want to be completely sure that the new last name that I’ll be using (hopefully for the rest of my life) is by law legally correct!!
    Thanks in advance for any helpful information.

    • Hi Sandy, when you legally change your name because of marriage, you must show us a document that proves your legal name change, such as the original copy of your marriage certificate. In your situation, it may be best to visit the nearest Social Security office or card center and one of our representatives will guide you through the application procedure. Please visit our “New or Replacement Social Security Number and Card” web page, to learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a new card. Thanks!

      • Yes I understand that I must provide an original document of my marriage certificate which I do have that to take with me to the Social Security Administration once I can get there with it being 45 minutes away, but I was wanting to fill out my application ahead of time so that I would have that out of the way & send it in by mail if I had to but I don’t know what to put for as my last name. On our marriage certificate both his last names are listed under his last names where his full legal name is 4 names instead of 3 like we have so I was unsure if I needed to put both his last names as my newly married last name of just his last last name of the 2. Sorry about the confusion but thank you for your time.

  22. Is there a way to check on the progress of a name change being processed? Because of the incredibly long wait times (even with an appointment) and the fact that the office in my area is open 9-4 when I work 8-5, I was forced to mail in my application. I am wondering if my paperwork has been processed yet.

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for your question Krista. Typically, after we receive your application and verify your documents, we then process your request for a replacement Social Security card. After we process your request, you should receive your replacement Social Security card by mail within 10 business days. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for a follow up. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  23. I am getting married and my fiancé collects SSI. By changing my last name or getting married in general ,will it effect his ssi and by how much? Also , he has sickle cell anemia, is he eligible for SSD too ?

    • Hi Tiffany. To qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program, individuals must have enough credits and be “currently insured”. This means, individuals must have worked long enough–and recently enough—under Social Security. If someone is receiving disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program, getting married may affect their benefits. This is because the amount of SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual receiving SSI benefits and the income and resources of his or her spouse. It is still possible that married individuals can continue to receive their SSI benefits after we conduct a “Redetermination”. For further assistance, please contact your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  24. I was recently told by a friend that 6 years ago, she had to change her name to her husband’s name in order to qualify for his ssa benefits after his death. My name is different than my husband’s, so I am concerned. This seems like an archaic rule and I wonder if it is still in effect today? Thank you!

      • Thank you for your prompt response, Mr. Fernandez. I visited the site you suggested and found useful information regarding ages and their corresponding survivor’s benefits, but my question is still not answered. Would I be denied otherwise qualified benefits if my last name is different from my husband’s? Thank you!

        • No Jeanne, as long as you meet all the eligibility requirements, you will not be denied benefits if your last name is different from your husband’s. Sometimes, our system will require us to make corrections when processing a claim. This may have been the case with your friend. Thanks.

  25. I recently got married. I went to social security to change my last name. My husband has two last names, first his father’s, last his mother’s. He goes by his father’s, so I had put in the paperwork that I would take his father’s as my last also. I was told that I can not do this. I was told that I had to take his mother’s last name because it came last. I have never heard of this before. I know many couples who have successfully done this name change before. As a Hispanic woman this is very disturbing to me. He said the law was changed by homeland security two weeks ago and that they control how names are on the cards. Is this possibly true?

    • Thank you for your question Maritza. For Social Security enumeration purposes, your first and last name shown on your SSN card must agree with the first and last name shown on the document submitted as evidence of identity or legal name. A foreign-born person’s legal name is the name shown on his or her immigration document (includes hyphens and apostrophes). When issuing immigration documents, the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security generally issue them in the person’s legal name. In addition, there is a 26-character limit for your first, middle name(s) and the last name and suffix, if any. Please continue working with your local office for further assistance in this matter. Thanks.

      • Right I understand that, but if he has two last names, which is shown on our marriage certificate and all other documents as his last names, his father’s is the first of the two. Can I take the first of the two? That is the tradition and would be under the 26 character limit.

  26. Im 53 and getting married, I can still collect my social security later in life fully right? I do not get any SSI or other, I work full time and have since the age of 15.

  27. Say I’m a woman named Sharon Ann Smith
    I am going to marry a man named Carl Ray Jones
    We get married and both go to Social Security Administration

    Are all of the following name change options allowed at SSA?

    1. Sharon Ann Smith-Jones and Carl Ray Smith-Jones
    2. Sharon Ann Smith Jones and Carl Ray Smith Jones (i.e., both added “Smith” as a second middle name)
    3. Sharon Smith Jones and Carl Smith Jones (i.e., both replaced original middle name with “Smith”)
    4. Sharon Ann Smith (no change) and Carl Ray Smith

    In other words, do the rules differ for men vs. women in opposite-sex marriages?

    • Thanks for your question Sharon! You can show whichever name you would like on your Social Security card as long as you have evidence of your legal name change. In order to change your name on your card, you must show us a document that proves your legal name change. You could also use two documents: a document showing your old name (as shown in our records), and a document showing your new name. Any documents you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age). To learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card Please visit our “New or Replacement Social Security Number and Card” web page. We hope this helps!

  28. Hello my name is Jacqueline Ramirez and I married with Jose Peralta . In my marriage certificate I decide to keep my last name Ramirez.I received my EAD card with my name Jacqueline Ramirez . Now I have decided to use the last name of my spouse “peralta” when I process my social security card for first time .My question is do I need to change it in my marriage certificate the option that I did? Or just like it is ? I want to make sure before I go to the social security office . Thank you so much for your valuable time and God bless you

  29. Hello, my name is Kenny and I have two questions.

    1) If an American is married with someone from another country, and they don’t live together. Can the NRA spouse his income be deemed for any SS benefits? Such as SSI, SSDI (on own work record), snap or Medicare? And if income cannot be deemed. Should the marriage be reported, as it wouldn’t affect any of the benefits?

    2) Can you change your name at SSDI, SNAP, DMV and other organizations at the same time as SSA. Or do you need to wait until you have a new social security card first, before you can change your name anywhere else?

  30. I have a question is there any way of adding your spouse last name to your social security card without taking out your last name? I would like to keep my maiden name as well, wondering if that is possible and if so how would I do that.

    • Thanks for your question, Michelle. To change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us proof of your legal name change. You can show whichever name you would like on your social security card, as long as you have evidence of your legal name change. In your case, a marriage license may be acceptable. Any documents you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age). If the name change event occurred over two years ago or if the name change document does not have enough information to prove your identity, you must also provide documents to prove your identity in your prior name and/or in some cases your new legal name. For more information on this topic, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. You may also use our local office search to find the Social Security office or Social Security Card Center that serves your location and its hours of operation. We hope this helps.

  31. I recently got married and would like to change my last name to my spouse’s last name. Is it possible when filing for the change to OMIT my current middle name so that my legal name will then only be my first name and (married) last name? Thanks.

    • Congratulations on becoming a newlywed! You can show whichever name you would like on your social security card, as long as you have evidence of your legal name change by showing us documentation of your old and new names. If you wish to omit your middle name, you may do so. To learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card, please visit our “New or Replacement Social Security Number and Card” web page. We hope this helps! Thanks!

  32. I applied for a new Social Security carrd at my local SS office as a result of marriage, but how do I get a new Medicare card?

  33. Hi, I live with my fiancé for 3 years. We will get married in October 2017. I am 68 Years old, widow, and my fiancé is 60 years old. I would like to know, if one of us die may in less than 2 years, we will have spouse Social Security benefits? I am asking this because If happens something with me my spouse will have the surviver social security from me. I am sorry for this question. I just want to protect my wife. Thank you

    • Hi Sueli. If you get Social Security retirement benefits and you marry, your benefit will stay the same. Click here to see how marriage may affect other benefits. Generally, you must be married for one year before you can get spouse’s benefits. You and your new wife will have to contact us then, to see if you or your wife qualify for a higher benefit amount. For survivor’s benefits, spouses must have been married for at least 9 months. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. You will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

  34. Hello there ? i have a friend who is married, but has not changed there social security numbers on their cards, but’s what’s strange “is they both have been working and filing their income tax returns separately,; now they’re wondering if they are really married social security hasn’t said nothing or the IRS….input please

    • Thanks for your question Carolyn. When you marry, you are free to keep your own name or take your spouse’s name. There is no time limit or requirement for a name change after marriage. Changing your name is a personal decision. However, if you do decide to change your name on your Social Security record, you must complete an application for a new Social Security card and show us a document that proves your legal name change. See “What documents you need to get a replacement Social Security card” for more information. For tax related questions, please contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope this helps.

  35. Hi, one of my friend just got married and wanted to update his profile and change it from widower to married. my question is – does social security allow to chagne of marriage status and info ? could you please tell me how to change and what he needs to prepare for social security ? thanks

    • Individuals receiving Social Security benefits have a legal obligation to report changes such as marriage, change of address, etc. Your friend can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or he can contact the local Social Security office directly.

  36. if im on ssd i get married will my wife receive benefits under me ? and if she has children
    that are not mine under 18 years old will they beable to receive benefits too

  37. Hi, I recently got married. Am I able to apply for a name change through the mail or do I have to go to a social security office? And if I can apply via the mail, what documents do I need to send? It looks like you can apply through the mail on your website but also says you can’t send copies or notarized copies, so I am confused. Thanks!

    • Notified copies of your passport or drivers license I meant. I do have an original copy of my marriage certificate. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your questions and congratulations on your recent marriage, Rachel! All documents you submit must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Any documents you provide will be returned to you. We offer the option to mail your completed application with the (original or certified) documents to your local Social Security office or the nearest Card Center in your area. In order to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us a document that proves your legal name change. If the document you provide as evidence of a legal name change does not give us enough information to identify you in our records, you must show us an identity document in your “old” name (as shown in our records) and another document showing your “new” name. To learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card, please visit our “New or Replacement Social Security Number and Card” web page. We hope this helps!

      • Thanks for getting back to me! In addition to submitting my completed application and marriage certificate, do I need to mail a document that proves my identity, such as my passport or my birth certificate?

        • Hi Rachel! In most cases, the (original or certified) copy of your marriage certificate may be enough to process your request. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents for further guidance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. To learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card, please visit our “New or Replacement Social Security Number and Card” web page. We hope this helps!

  38. If one person is on SSI and the other one is working and they want to get married will the person on SSI still receive benefits?

    • Thank you for your question Sarah. If someone is receiving disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program, getting married may affect their benefits. This is because the amount of SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual receiving SSI benefits and the income and resources of his or her spouse.

  39. I was recently married and went into a SS office to change my name. They were only able to change my last name (I wanted to take my mother’s maiden name as my middle name but it was not allowed without a court order). They changed my last name, but I now have to go through the court process to change my middle name.

    I have not changed any other documents (DMV, Passport, etc). Does changing my name on my SS card make that my new legal name? Or is it not my legal name until I change my Drivers license as well? Trying to determine which component validates my identity

    • Hi Laura. In general, a US born person’s legal name is the name shown on his or her U.S. birth certificate unless the person’s name is changed based on certain events, such as a marriage or a valid court order for a name change. You can show whichever name you would like on your social security card, as long as you have evidence of your legal name change. Thanks!

  40. How long after filing for a name change at the Social Security offices does it take to reflect in their system? I’ve been married and changed my name and need to know because I am also in the process of going back to school and my information does not match theirs.

    • Generally, it takes 2 to 3 business days after we process your application, for your Social Security record to be updated. You should receive your replacement Social Security card by mail within 10 business days. To verify, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thank you.

  41. hi im 25 been disable since i was young getting ssdi and now i get ssr and my girlfreind gets ssi or ssdi shes disabled to what would happen to are income if we get married

    • Good question Ben. For the person receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or retirement benefits, marriage does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For the person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), getting married may affect his or her benefit. This is because the amount of the SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income available to him or her and the spouse. See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits” for more information.

    • Good question Michelle. For the person receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, marriage does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For the person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), getting married may affect his or her benefit. This is because the amount of the SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income available to him or her and the spouse.
      See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits” for more information. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your questions and congratulations on your marriage, Angelica!
      You cannot apply for a replacement Social Security card online, when changing your name.
      In order to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us a document that proves your legal name change. If the document you provide as evidence of a legal name change does not give us enough information to identify you in our records, you must show us an identity document in your old name (as shown in our records), and another identity document with your new name. We prefer a government issued document with your picture, as proof of identity. Any document you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age). We offer the option to mail your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or nearest Card Center in your area. We hope this helps!

      We hope this helps!

  42. i want to get married And i have to be head of House Hold HE IS A Disabled V.A Vet AND I Don’t want to lose MY benefits !!!??please help Because we should not lose my medicade I HAVE TO be head of House hold because he is financially incompetent we want to get married and I become head of house hold!!

  43. i want to get married and don’t want lose my benifits or my medicaid I HAVE TO BE HEAD OF HOUSE HOLD I MAKE LESS I REALLY WANT to keep my medicaid I Have really extreme anxiety So what needs to happen!!!!!

  44. I WANT TO BE HEAD OF HOUSE HOLD I WANT TO MARRY A 100% DISABLED VET he’s financially incompetent i too am 100% disabled !!!WILL I LOSE ALL MY BENEFITS NOT IF i’m head of house hold even though he makes more !!!RIGHT!!??

    • For a person receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, marriage does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For a person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), getting married may affect his or her benefit. This is because the amount of the SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income available to him or her and the spouse.
      See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits” for more information. Thanks!

  45. I’m 77 and remarried. I need to know what documents I need for a name change on my social security and medicare card.
    My email address is: rossirene640@gmail.com
    I was widowed and received social security benefits from my late spouse, Lawrence M. Ross relinquishing my benefits under Irene M. Ross *** – ** – ***.
    My new married name is Mrs. Frank (Irene) Morello.
    Thank you for you help,
    Irene (Ross) Morello
    713-542-3086

    • Congratulations, Irene! If you legally change your name because of marriage and need to get a corrected Social Security card, visit our “Social Security Number and Card” web page for information.
      If you receive Social Security and Medicare benefits, you will need to contact us. We’ll correct your name on our records and send you a new Medicare card. You will have to show us your original marriage certificate.
      To make an appointment with your local office or if you need further assistance, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Just a reminder – Please be cautious about posting personal information on social media. We hope this information helps!

  46. My husband and I are just recently married. I want to change my last name to my husband’s, but he has two last names as it is a tradition in Latin culture (ex. Lucas Garcia Reyes). I only wish to take “Garcia” (Talia Garcia) not “Garcia Reyes” (Talia Garcia Reyes). Is that something I can do?

    • Thanks for your questions and congratulations on your recent marriage, Talia! You can show whichever name you would like on your social security card, as long as you have evidence of your legal name change.
      Your marriage certificate may be used to change your name on your Social Security card. If the document you provide as evidence of a legal name change does not give us enough information to identify you in our records, you must also show us an identity document in your old name (as shown in our records).
      When ready, you can take or mail your completed application with the original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or the nearest Card Center in your area.
      Please visit our Social Security Number and Card web page for more information. We hope this helps!

  47. We got married on 2/5/18 and are both receiving Social Security and what do we need to do to update this with you? We are a heterosexual (man & woman) couple.

    • Hi Leslie, all Social Security beneficiaries are required to report changes that may or may not affect your eligibility to receive benefits. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits?” for more information on this topic. Thanks!

  48. My wife (71)and i (70) just married in Dec 2017. we both receive retirement benefits.
    She is NOT changing her name.
    We filed a joint IRS return for 2017.
    Is there anything we need to do as far as Social Security is involved?

    • Congratulations, Robert! In some cases, if you get married or divorced, your Social Security benefits may be affected, depending on the kind of benefits you receive. See page 7 and 8 of our publication: What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits.
      You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents directly. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Generally, you will have a shorter wait time, if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  49. Good Afternoon,
    I will be getting married next month. How soon can I change my name on my social security card?

  50. I have been married 25 yrs to the same person and never changed my sis card… what forms do I need? Thank you

  51. I just newlywed a month now, Do I have to change my surname on the ssn card?
    What do I do to change so my employment wont mixed up from my previous surname to my new surname married now ?

  52. I know a married couple that has been drawing two Social Security for 5 years they have not told Social Security they are married and they use there last names. James Wenzel and Carolyn Ann Courtney (Wenzel) she has not taken his last name knowing they will lose one check? Need advise for this question. Not fair when one person is drawing less and is honest.

  53. Hello, I am 60 years old. I am planning on getting married soon. I am not on SSI. Can my new spouse collect my SSI if I were to pass away?

    • Good question, Jeffrey. For the person receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, marriage does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For the person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), getting married may affect his or her benefit. This is because the amount of the SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income available to him or her and the spouse.
      See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits” for more information.

  54. I’m trying to find out who loses benefits if we get married, me or my boyfriend. We are both over 60. I get $750 and he gets $900

    • Thanks for your question, Dara! You can show whichever name you would like on your social security card. You should use your legal name. If you need to change your name you will have to provide evidence of your legal name change.
      To learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a “corrected” card, please visit our “Social Security Number and Card” web page. Thanks!

    • Hello Robert. If you receive benefits from Social Security, you have a legal obligation to report changes, which could affect your eligibility for disability, retirement, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week.
      Individuals living outside the United States should contact the nearest Federal Benefits Unit or U.S. Embassy in their area. Thanks!

  55. I recently got married and I need to change my name. My maiden name is Rachel Hunter. My married name is Rachel Bruce.How do I go about change this officially?

    • Hello Rachel and CONGRATULATIONS!!! Please see our Frequently Asked Questions web page for complete information on how to go about changing your name on your Social Security record. When ready you can take or mail your application with your (original or certified copies) documents to the nearest Social Security office or Card Center in your area. Thanks.

  56. So I can’t keep my benefits if I remarry? We’re talking about separate accounts mine and hers ?
    Is there anyway?.
    So I cant marry my love under god or marry again or my Benifits will get Less. I have my own bills debt, responsibility etc. if this is still a no pls let me know my options to keep the my benifits .. I guess if I can’t marry my love due to this, we’re a veteran family just confused, home of the brave and free….
    Just disappointed 😢

  57. My names has changed. I changed it with DMV and Social Security Administration. Now, I need to change it with my Medicare Card. I am having problems finding out to do that. (Old name Billie Burress) My new legal name is Billie Stacey

    • Hello Billie, you will need to contact your local Social Security office. Just in case, please bring the original documents that support your -legal- name change.
      To make an appointment or to speak with one of our agents, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will experience a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  58. I recently had my name legally changed from Michael Lee Richmond to Shelley Lynn Tibbs-Moore to coincide with my gender identity. I am seeking to get my Social Security files updated to the new name so that I will be able to access my full available Social Security when I retire. How can I best accomplish this? I have legal documentation, and a new drivers license in this name already.

  59. I was married to my same sex partner August 22nd. I receive SSDI. I’m informing you of the change. My spouse is a K1 VISA immigrant from the Philippines and will be applying for a change in his Visa status and green card immediately. He is not able to work at this time.

    • Congratulations, Timothy! Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot update your benefit record.
      To report your marriage information, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Or you can contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks.

  60. Just recently got married June 30th this year and I am just now getting to changing my name. I just wondered if it cost anything or do I just mail in the application with the required documents?

  61. I am trying to change my name as I have recently gotten married. How do I do this? I work overnights so it seems getting anything done takes forever!

  62. I need to notify Soc. Security that I have a name change due to marriage. I also have a change of address. Having difficulty maneuvering on the site to figure out what to do. Do I need to go to the SS office and what do I need to bring with me beside marriage license? Thank you.

  63. How do I have former names removed from my record? I have been married to my husband for 15 years, the former married names continue to be on my personal records. This is important to me because one of the former names was my abuser and my husband and I receive phone calls looking for him. I received one today. I desperately need this done. Not only are my former names on my records, they show up on my husband and mothers records. Please help me

  64. I am having a problem in finding the form to use to change my name back after a divorce. What do I need to do before coming to the SSN office?

  65. My name is Carl B. Sheppard 1/13/40. I had been retired and receiving my SS benefits monthly. I was divorced in 2004. Then I just got married last June 23, 2018. How do I change the name of my new beneficiary (my current wife’s name)? I need to remove my previous wife’s name whom I got divorced in 2004.
    please help me. thanks.

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