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Will Remarriage Affect my Social Security Benefits?

September 5, 2017 • By

Last Updated: September 5, 2017

married couple hugging Whether it’s a morning ceremony or an evening gala, excitement’s in the air. It’s wedding season! A time when many couples officially tie the knot. Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey, we wouldn’t miss the chance to be there after your wedding. 

If you’re getting married, along with the excitement of your impending nuptials, you may have some questions about changing the name on your Social Security card.

If you get Social Security disability or retirement benefits and you get married again, there are four ways in which remarriage may affect your benefits:

  1. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits — If you marry, your spouse’s income and resources may change your SSI benefit. If you and your spouse both get SSI, your benefit amount will change from an individual rate to a couple’s rate.
  2. If you receive benefits as a widow, divorced widow, widower, or divorced widower — You cannot get benefits if you remarry before age 60 or if you are disabled and remarry before age 50. If you remarry before you turn 50, you will not be entitled to survivor’s benefits, unless the marriage ends.

—  If you remarry before you turn 60 and that marriage ends, you may become entitled or re-entitled to benefits on your prior deceased spouse’s earnings record. Your benefits begin the first month in which the subsequent marriage ended if all entitlement requirements are met.

  1. If you receive divorced spouse’s benefits — Generally, your benefits end if you remarry. Check out if you are divorced for more information.
  2. Benefits for a child under age 18 or student ages 18 or 19 — Benefits end if you marry. You can find more information in our page Benefits for Children.

Also, your remarriage after age 60 does not prevent you from becoming entitled to benefits on your prior deceased spouse’s Social Security earnings record. Visit our Benefit Planners for more information.


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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Alfred R.

    I am receiving my SSA benefit. I am dating and plan to marry my love who is
    Disabled, receiving SSI and Medicaid and Medicare, survivors benefits from her late husband. What if any benefits will she loose upon marriage.

    • Sue

      Hi, Alfred, and thanks for using our blog. Please review our Frequently Asked Question for information about how marriage could affect your partner’s benefits, specifically her Supplemental Security Income (a needs-based program). She may want to call her local Social Security office for additional details. She’ll find the phone number to her local office here. Our call volume and wait times are greater than normal, so we ask for her patience. We hope this is helpful.

  2. Wendy C.

    I was divorced after 16 years of marriage. I remarried, but my second husband died. Then my first husband died after him. Can I collect from my divorced husband’s benefits as well as my 2nd husband’s, as technically I wasn’t married when my 1st husband passed away. He never remarried?

    • Vonda

      Hi Wendy, thanks for using our blog. It is possible for a person to be eligible for benefits from different records at the same time. However, we are only going to pay the highest benefit amount from either record – meaning that you will only be allowed to receive one payment.

      If you are the (unmarried/single) widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can start receiving reduced survivor’s benefits as early as age 60 (50 if disabled). If you are eligible for widow’s benefits and surviving divorced widow’s benefits, you have additional options. Plus, if you are also eligible for retirement benefits on your own record, you have an additional option. You can apply for one of benefits that you’re eligible for and switch to the other (higher) benefit at a later date.

      The earliest age you can apply for your own (reduced) retirement benefits is 62.

      You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  3. Gloria. O.

    I am a widow drawing Louisiana state teacher retirement from my husband and I draw Social Security benefits Of my own can I remarry without losing any of these benefits and will the person I marry continue to draw his full Social Security benefits

  4. Jane d.

    How much can a married couple earn while receiving ssi? If on gets ssi and also works but the there spouse is not working or getting any income.

    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Jane. If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits, a change in your household income can affect your benefits. This is because the amount of an 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. Check out our Understanding SSI web page for additional details regarding income. We hope you find this information helpful.

  5. Thomas A.

    I am 73 and I began drawing Social Security when I was 70. I was divorced when I was 60. If I remarry someone who is 63 and is not drawing Social Security will that effect my Benefit and will there be a Survivors Benefit for my new wife when I die?

    • Vonda

      Hi Thomas, thanks for using our blog. If you get Social Security disability or retirement benefits and you marry, your benefit will stay the same. See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits” for more information.

      Generally, a surviving spouse or widow meets the duration of marriage requirement if the marriage took place no later than 9 months immediately preceding the day on which the worker died. To learn more, visit our Survivors web page.

  6. Pamela B.

    I married my present spouse at 31, after my first spouse died in a car accident we had ( I was married to him for 14 years). Me and my present spouse are divorcing. How long do I have to wait after my divorce before I can draw social security on my late husbands social security?

    • Vonda

      Hi Pamela, thanks for using our blog. If you remarried before age 60 (age 50 if disabled), you were not eligible as a surviving spouse while you were married. However, if you become unmarried, you can apply for widow’s benefits by calling your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  7. Marquita E.

    I am 46 my ex-husband passed earlier this month. We were married 14 years. Can I continue working and receive a portion of his SSI? If not, Will it be there when I turn age 60 or older?

  8. Cheryl G.

    I am 74 and a widow! I forfeited my SS benefits in 2018 when my husband died and am receiving his SS as it was a higher amount! If I remarry can I still receive his benefit amount or can I revert back to receiving mine??

    • Vonda

      Hi Cheryl, thank you for the question. Widows that remarry after age 60 (age 50 if disabled), may continue to qualify for benefits on their deceased spouse’s Social Security record. If your new spouse is a Social Security beneficiary, you may want to apply for spouse’s benefits on that record. If that amount is higher, you may be entitled to the higher amount, based on both records. Generally, you must be married for one year before you can get spouse’s benefits. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page to see how marriage can affect Social Security benefits. We hope this helps!

  9. Vjoseph

    I draw ssi my soon to be husband draws social security disability makes under 18,000 how will that effect my check

    • Vonda

      Hi Vjoseph, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for how marriage may affect other benefits. We hope this helps!

  10. Edward M.

    My fiancé currently receives SSDI benefits. She’s 47 & I’m 54. I earn under 50k. Will her benefits change if we get married?

    • Vonda

      Hi Edward, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for how marriage may affect other benefits. We hope this helps!

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