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SSDI & Marriage Rules: Should Benefits be Stripped Because of Marriage?
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SSDI & Marriage Rules: Should Benefits be Stripped Because of Marriage?

Every girl dreams of the day her prince charming asks her to be his forever. My engagement took me completely by surprise to say the least. I had thought that Niagara Falls would be the perfect spot to be engaged since we were planning to go back to where we had our first date, but I didn’t really think it would happen.

He planned everything right down to having a photographer there to take pictures of this life-changing event in our lives. My ring is perfect. He knows me so well, and knew I would absolutely love it, and I do.

Have been receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) since my dad retired,  I found out that after the wedding, my SSDI would be cut off once we are married. Along with my physical disability, I live with chronic pain, which makes it hard to hold down a full-time job. It also hinders any potential financial gain if I am working even part-time while on SSDI.

I called Social Security and asked about this, and they told me that if I had received SSDI because of my own work record, then I could keep it. However, since I don’t have a work record indicating that I should receive the benifits, they are taking them away.

I have been a freelance artist all my life, making sure I never made too much money, because I was so afraid of losing my SSDI. I am blessed that losing my benefits will not interfere with our wedding plans, but for a lot of people with disabilities (especially life-long ones), with no real work history, those individuals have to make a difficult choice. It’s hard enough dealing with a disability alone. To have found your true love and not be able to fulfill what most people take for granted, (getting married, having kids, and thereby living a fulfilling life) isn't fair. And these rights are denied to so many.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Should you be able to come into a marriage with what you already have, or is it okay for it to be taken away?

I personally consider myself infinitely lucky to have certain skills, and hope to find a full time writing gig and actually be paid what I’m worth, instead of always looking over my shoulder due to financial stress and strain.

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  1. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    Wait a minute: You are no longer disabled according to SSDI rules because you are marrying someone with an income that is over the limits? How screwy is this? The income limit is not that high to begin with. One thing that this does do for you is that it allows you to earn as much as you want now in which you can make more money. But is that going to cover everything that is needed? One stay in the hospital, not even for a week, is over $100,000.00. I'm sorry.It's just not right. Contact some Social Security and ADA lawyers....Congratulations to both of you. I invite you to read, Sky Diving for wheelchair users" and vote on it if you like it.
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  2. Tara Richardson
    Tara Richardson
    They never asked what his income was. They flat out said no that I can't keep it. She was kind of rude anyway. It's not right considering it isn't based off of what he makes at all.
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    1. pftsusan
      pftsusan
      They are very judgmental. I've been on SSDI since 1992. Several times were rude. Wrongfully took payments away from me and I had to fight them to get them back with lawyers. .My suggestion is to contact an Social Security Benefits lawyer to find out if you could appeal first. If not, what you can do to continue with your benefits after you are married.
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  3. estee88
    I think it is wrong if the person has a legit disability,( In a wheelchair, missing limb, heart issue,etc..,but some people on disability can work and they do not. The regulations and guidelines they use for the system are black and white and do not consider each case, as they really should.
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  4. Admin
    Admin
    Thanks for this candid piece of writing, Tara. It's created quite a buzz on the Rolling Without Limits Facebook page!
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  5. linds31
    I am in the exact same situation! I have SSDI due to my father's passing and am currently looking for employment right now and have little to no paid work experience. I am currently living with my boyfriend (who is not disabled) and we want to get married someday but we do not know what will happen to my benefits if we do. I would talk to S.S. but I am always told different stories with each person I speak with. If anyone has any suggestions for me I would be so appreciative!
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    1. Tara Richardson
      Tara Richardson
      My Fiance' is disabled but he has a job. They never asked me about his income because it's not supposed to matter. My mother stayed home and took care of us and she got SS when my dad retired admittedly not as much as he did but still she got something. I have friends who just got married last year and they couldn't legally do it because they would both lose their PCA's . Its not tha people with disabilites don't want to work it's that they are scared of being cut off from medical and their PCA's which they need to have a job in the first place. Same with the marriage piece. I did ok with my SSDI and my freelance work, wasn't making a fortune but It was better than nothing. I was raised to work and even though my chronic pain & CP I manage the best I can and do what I can.
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  6. caddomikey
    No! Disability does not "magically" go away when one gets married. This is one rule that so bothers me. Why does the government feel the need to penalize a person with a disability because they fall in love and get married. We must do away with this "penalty" once and for all...
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