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SSDI options for elderly couples

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2022 | SSDI

As married couples grow older, the need for financial help to cover medical costs related to illnesses or injuries is essential. While one spouse may have to take on the role of caretaker, certain scenarios could see both partners needing support and questioning whether they both can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Qualifying for benefits

If each of them has a disability for at least one year or their affliction will result in their death, they can both collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Payments are calculated on each spouse’s employment history and income. Both receiving SSDI will not affect the other’s eligibility.

Should only one spouse need SSDI, the other spouse could receive spousal benefits, up to 50 percent of the partner’s benefits based on age and other factors for qualification.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) focuses on significantly older people with severe disabilities, including blindness. Unlike SSDI, lifetime earnings do not play a role in that program. Both spouses can qualify without affecting either’s eligibility and will receive payment based on a monthly cap subject to reductions based on the recipient’s current income.

Couples can each qualify for SSI together. However, SSI pays a lower amount for spouses than they would, with each one getting an individual check. The overall amount is based on both of their incomes, whether they have children and additional factors. The current maximum benefit for one is $841, with a couple receiving $1,261 together.

A complex process combined with lengthy wait times often requires legal help to ensure that you and your spouse get the benefits you are entitled to under Social Security policies.