Special Events, SSI

Getting Married Soon? Give Social Security Your New Name

June 2, 2016 • By

Last Updated: March 17, 2021

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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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Comments

  1. tony

    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.

    • John doe

      Some of us have extreme difficulty dealing with narrow minded, idiots such as this holy rolling high on something because they didn’t get or got. But didnt. They think…. sso has been a real blessing to me and I respect them and their decisions good and usually bad enough to be put oy hands… doctors and their poisons are no more better than today’s lower level street vendors of all kinds OF ILLEGAL POTION’S AND POISONS… and have very little ideas or even care about what they areally pushing, and lives they are taking all in the name of practice, because they’re to damn chicken shit and cowards when they fuck up. Which is alot. LOOK I use to be in the military, I use to be a nurse, I use to go to work 12 to 24 hours a day. Some time’s 36… one hospital after another day and night…. doctors do the same.. pay is so bad taxes so high, life in general isn’t worth living after awhile, so do you really think you get what you deserve, are due, what you pay for….when you cone to see what the medical field is all about . Just shut the fuck up, get in ljne, do what you’re told,and worry about your own ass… no one in this wold but you should… or go milk some thing you really know about before you go posting it where other people have to read it…why do you even give a shut and who cares about your code knowledge. Go back to sleep… the government is still in control you’ll get you place soon enough, maybe sooner than you wish like a great deal of us our here who have no fucking choice anymore about anything. And are taking one day at a time. Kicked so fucking far out and away, thrown into nothing with no hope … how’s a doctor going to help that I ask… they cant…oh that’s right, ….milk anyone.

  2. Mrs. Elizabeth Elsesser

    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?

    • Jenna Yeager, Public Affairs Specialist

      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.

  3. Annelisia

    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.

    • Jenna Yeager, Public Affairs Specialist

      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.

      • Justin

        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.

        • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

          Your widow can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled) from Social Security. Please visit our Survivors Planner for more information.

  4. Amy

    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……

    • Jenna Yeager, Public Affairs Specialist

      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.

  5. Kathy Ersland

    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.

    • Jenna Yeager, Public Affairs Specialist

      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.

      • Stacy lyn

        I’m on social security under my dad because I’m disabled if I marry will i lose my benefits?

        • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

          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.

      • Ahmad

        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 ?

        • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

          Hello Ahmad. Generally, only non-citizens authorized to work in the United States by the Department
          of Homeland Security (DHS) can get a Social Security number. Please read our publication “Social Security Numbers for Non-citizens” for complete information.

  6. Razan Alsawaf

    I have to fix My Tooth can my SSA pay for dental ??

    • John OMalia

      No, but Medicare might if it was due to acovered injury.

  7. maria rose

    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.

    • tOM

      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.

    • ebony bostic

      How did you file your taxes? Did you have any problems?

  8. jeffrey wayne bednarz

    I am married to a Mexican national. How do I declare her as a dependent and beneficiary?

    • Public Affairs Specialist

      Tell the Police.

      • Zenia Gallo

        Is the above a racist, bigoted and divisive answer? Or you providing accurate information?

  9. Dr. Anne Franklin

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

  10. Marie Kernin

    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.?

    • John OMalia

      No, only SSI is effected.

      • Steve Druga

        Both myself and future bride are on Social Security. will either ones benefits be effected?

        • Tom O'Connor

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

          • Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist

            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.

      • Pierre Singletary

        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

        • Jenna Yeager, Public Affairs Specialist

          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!

    • Jenna Yeager, Public Affairs Specialist

      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.

      • Lindan

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

        • Peggy

          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.

    • Wayne

      I’m on disability and was married I need to update my material staus how can I do that on line can’t find anything on line on how to do it and it says u can mail it but what info are they wanting u to mail in I went to social security. Gov.gov and nothing on how to update status

Comments are closed.