Q: Will marriage change my Social Security benefits?
A: Remember that these articles provide general information and the answer to such a broad question varies with the type of Social Security benefits received. To learn about your actual benefits, contact Social Security and have a representative check your record.
Marriage will not change Social Security retirement or disability benefits from your own work record because they are based largely on your personal work history over many years and age when starting retirement or becoming disabled. Amounts received by husband or wife through their personal work records do not affect what the other receives.
Do you receive Social Security benefits as a divorced spouse? If a divorced spouse remarries, he or she generally cannot collect benefits on the record of the former spouse unless the later marriage ends.
If you receive Social Security survivors benefits as a widow or widower, your age at remarriage makes a difference in the answer. Widow or widowers of many ages receive Social Security survivor benefits. In general, if you remarry after you reach age 60 (age 50 if disabled), remarriage will not affect your eligibility for survivors benefits. For example, remarriage could end Social Security survivors benefits to a widow at age 40 but not to the same person at age 61. Social Security benefits to a surviving divorced spouse follow this age difference too.
Children can receive Social Security benefits through the work record of a parent. With rare exception, these Social Security benefits end if the child marries.
In addition to Social Security retirement, survivors and disability benefits, the Social Security Administration is also responsible for the very different, need based, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Since household income is used to compute SSI amounts, marriage could change monthly amounts.