Your spouse’s income or earnings could have a bearing on your disability benefits depending on the Social Security program under which you are receiving benefits. The Social Security runs two programs for people with disabilities – the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
To qualify for SSDI payments, you must have paid into the program during your time in the workforce. The SSI program, on the other hand, is a needs-based program. Under this program, you qualify for benefits if you belong to a low-income group and are unable to work. In fact, you do not need to be disabled to qualify for benefits. Seniors above the age of 65 may also qualify for SSI benefits if they belong to a low- income category.
If your spouse is earning, it will have no bearing on your eligibility for benefits under the SSDI program. These benefits are reserved for those who have paid into the program, and as long as you have paid sufficiently into the program and meet other criteria, your spouse’s benefits will not impact your case. On the other hand, SSI may reduce the amount of benefits that you are eligible to recover if your spouse is earning above a certain level. If your spouse earns more than or has assets equal to or more than $3,000, you may not qualify for benefits under this program.