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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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Julia s.

    I am 76 years old and contemplating marriage to a 72 year old man.
    We both draw social security.
    How would marriage affect our income?
    We’re hearing conflicting info.
    Please clarify for us.

    • Vonda

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

  2. Vera B.

    My mother is a widow and over 75. She receives Social Security from Switzerland. She is engaged to an American Citizen that gets Social Security. What will happen to their benefits when they marry? Will my mother’s benefits be cut, but her new husbands increase? Where can we get information about this?

    • Vonda

      Hi Vera, thanks for using our blog. According to current policy, a spouse must meet a 1 year duration-of-marriage requirement just before filing for the spousal benefit. We cannot answer your question regarding the effect the marriage would have on your mother’s Switzerland benefit.

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

  3. Lori

    I”m 57 years old and drawing survivor benefits on my husband,,,I’m also on disability to..If i remarry will i lost my survivor benefits? I have been reading and it says as long as i’m over 50 and getting my own disability I wont.

  4. David B.

    My son waz 33 when his life ended,his ex which has been remarried for a few years jas two kids with him but he lost all rights tobthem from dfacs so who gets his social security

    • Vonda

      We are very sorry for your loss, David. Your grandsons may be eligible for survivor benefits if their father earned enough Social Security credits through his work. Unmarried children who are under 18 (up to age 19 if attending elementary or secondary school full time) can be eligible to receive Social Security benefits when a parent dies. Their mother would be the appropriate applicant to apply for the benefits if they’re living with her.

      You’ll find more information in our “Benefits For Children” pamphlet. If you have additional questions, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 or your local office. You’ll find the phone number using our Social Security Office Locator.

  5. Tina

    My husband was married to his ex for 22 years and then divorced. We’ve been married for a year now. If my husband passes before me who will get his SS benefits. The ex or myself

  6. Elma M.

    I am on social security. My boyfriend is also on social security. If we marry, will either of us lose our benefits?

    • Sue

      Hi Elma Mae, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions webpage to learn how marriage may affect your and your boyfriend’s benefits. We hope this helps!

  7. Nancy U.

    I am 73 years old and on disability. My fiance is 77 and on SS. If we marry, will either of our benefits change?

    • Vonda

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

  8. Cathy M.

    I notice some of your reader’s questions address remarrying. However, I also noted that the answer is always something to the affect of continuing to be eligible for the first husband’s earnings record. My question is: If a woman remarries and she is drawing her deceased husbands FRA, upon the remarriage does that FRA get reduced. I believe it does and hence the term Marriage Penalty.

  9. Janelle

    I am 62 and draw survivor benefits. My boyfriend is 62 and just started drawing SS early retirement benefits.
    If we marry, I know my benefits won’t change, but will his?

    • Vonda

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

    • Kayla L.

      If I marry someone who is not a us citizen will it change my social security benefits

      • Vonda

        Hi Kayla, 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. Christine b.

    My husband died 5 yrs ago. I am 45. We have children. They receive survivor benefits paid to me. I was told by a ss worker that even if i remarry they will still get their benefits. Well i ended up meeting someone and remarrying and it was a terrible turnout. However The benefits stopped. Im in the process of annulment. Can i reapply for those benefits?

    • Sue

      We’re sorry for your losses, Christine. You may reapply for survivors benefits once your current marriage has legally ended, but if you’re working, there is a limit to how much you can earn. To restart your benefits, please call your local Social Security office. You’ll find the phone number here. Your benefits can continue until your youngest child turns 16. For more information, read our What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits pamphlet.

      • Rachelle R.

        Hello, Sue , so if you do remarry, the child’s benefits are ceased? Im 45 as well and would like to remarry but I don’t want my child’s benefits taken away. Say the marriage does not work out and u reapply for widow benefits , will u receive them again , or it just a maybe ? Thank you for clarifying this for me.. God bless !

    • Carol w.

      I am 75 and draw my widow benefits. If I remarry will my benefits stop or be reduced.

Comments are closed.