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How Do I Change My Marital Status With Social Security

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Effect Of Marital Status On Federal And State Benefit Rates

5 Social Security Card Married Name Change Tips

The amount of a recipient’s SSI benefit is based on many factors, including one’s marital status. Of the three major income assistance programs, only the SSI program distinguishes marital status. TANF and the Food Stamp program base benefits on household size, not marital status. The distinction made in the SSI program somewhat parallels that of the EITC. The following discussion reviews the different benefit rates for determining the amount of one’s benefit and highlights the differences based on marital status.

The Social Security Administration uses separate rules for computing benefits for couples and individual recipients. The federal benefit rate for a couple equals 1.5 times the FBR for an individual. The rationale for paying couples less than the amount that two individual beneficiaries would receive is one of economies of scale. By living together and pooling resources, a couple can live more economically than if each person lived alone.

To determine the amount of SSI benefits a couple is eligible to receive, their combined countable income is deducted from the FBR for a couple. The result is then divided equally and paid to the couple in separate checks. If the couple is determined to be living in someone else’s household and receiving in-kind support and maintenance from within the household, the couple FBR is reduced by one-third.

Late Middle Age Cohort: Age 5059

The Late Middle Age cohort in 2001 consists of women born between 1942 and 1951. The oldest of these women reached age 62 in 2004 and the youngest will be 62 in 2013. In terms of current marital status, Table 2 shows that 68.7 percent of Late Middle Age women in 2001 were potentially eligible for spouse or widow benefits as a result of being married or separated and 7.1 percent due to their current status as widows, which are lower than the equivalent percentages in the 1985 CPS data.20

Estimates also show that the share of this group who were never-married increased by more than 2 percentage points from 1985 to 2001. While never-married women in this age group may change their current status by the time they reach retirement age, a first marriage between the ages of 50 to 59 is relatively unlikely. From 1985 to 2001, the median age at first marriage for women increased from 23.3 years to 25.1 years , which is 25 years younger than even the youngest members of the Late Middle Age cohort.

With respect to divorce, 38.8 percent of Late Middle Age women in the 2001 SIPP were ever-divorced . This figure represents a substantial increase over the 22.4 percent of ever-divorced women in the 1985 CPS. Currently divorced women also represented a larger share of the Late Middle Age group in 2001 than in 1985 . That said, remarriage remained common among Late Middle Age women in 2001, with over half of the ever-divorced having at some point remarried.

What If I Have A Problem

Social Security employees are instructed to treat transgender customers with respect, including using appropriate pronouns, and to not ask unrelated personal questions. If you encounter difficulties with local or other SSA employees, contact NCTE, your SSA Regional Office, or your U.S. Senators Office. If you believe you have been subject to discriminatory treatment by an SSA office or staff, you may file a formal complaint of discrimination with SSA. SSA accepts complaints of discrimination in services and programs based on race, color, national origin , religion, sex , sexual orientation, age, disability, or in retaliation for filing a complaint. The purpose of this process is not to provide compensation but to resolve unfair actions and prevent future incidents. The complaint form can be found at: .

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How Do I Officially Change My Name

Steps to Legally Change Your NamePetition to change your name by filling out a name change form, an order to show cause for legally changing your name, and a decree to legally change your name.Take these forms to the court clerk and file them along with your states required filing fees.More itemsJul 22, 2020

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How do I change my citizenship status for Social Security?

Still have questions? The logistics of changing your marital status can be hard enough without having to worry about losing your SSI benefits. To get answers about SSI benefits relevant to your specific situation, consult with a Social Security attorney. Plus, having a lawyer file your benefits application makes you nearly 3x more likely to get approved! In addition to offering free, no-obligation legal consultations to answer all your claim questions, these lawyers always work on contingency. That means if you dont win benefits, you pay that lawyer $0 for helping you. And if you do win, youll only pay a small, one-time fee.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

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Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

Adding a spouse to your health insurance plan is simple. If you already have a Self and Family plan, simply notify your insurance carrier that you wish to enroll your spouse. The carrier may require that you submit a copy of your marriage certificate.

If you are currently enrolled in a Self Only plan, youll need to switch to a Self Plus One or a Self and Family plan by completing and submitting the Health Benefits Election form and a copy of your marriage certificate.

NOTE: You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after the date of marriage to enroll in FEHB or make a change to your current enrollment.

Effect Of Marital Status On Treatment Of Income And Resources

The previous section illustrates how marital status determines whether a person receives benefits under the individual or couple rate. Marital status also affects how income and resources are counted in determining a person’s SSI eligibility and monthly benefit amount. For eligible couples, some rules for excluding income and resources treat the couple as a unit. Therefore, if two eligible persons married or represented themselves as husband and wife, they would lose the benefit of two separate exclusions. For couples with one member ineligible, the rules require that the income and resources of the ineligible spouse be considered in determining the other spouse’s eligibility for and monthly amount of SSI benefits. If an eligible individual lives with another person and they are not married or are not representing themselves as husband or wife, the eligible individual’s SSI benefit is determined without considering the income from the other person.

The following analysis reviews the rules for several exclusions and the rules for considering the income from an ineligible spouse. The analysis points out how the rules differ in their treatment of married couples or persons representing themselves as two single persons living in the same household. Although the benefit rate options discussed above are mutually exclusive alternatives, the exclusion and deeming options presented below could be implemented in combination with one another and with one of the benefit rate options.

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Temporary Assistance For Needy Families

The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which established the TANF program, states that the underlying purpose of the act is to promote marriage and the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. Nonetheless, marital status is not a criterion for receiving benefits. That is, TANF does not distinguish between married and unmarried couples, but there are some differences in the rules for two-parent and one-parent families. Two-parent families face higher work participation rates, and 17 states have retained eligibility rules that make it harder for two-parent families to receive assistance. Some states use TANF monies to fund activities that promote marriage. West Virginia, for example, increases a family’s monthly benefit when there is a legal marriage and both members of the couple receive public assistance.

How To Change Your Address

How to change your single name to married name to your Social Security card

If you have a new address, notify the U.S. Postal Service as soon as possible so your mail delivery wont be interrupted. The post office sends your new information to the IRS. However, I also recommend that you notify the IRS directly about your address change using Form 8822, especially if youre expecting a tax refund.

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Will Changing My Gender With Ssa Affect My Health Benefits

Changing your gender marker with Social Security will typically not affect private health insurance. While some insurance plans may automatically refuse coverage of services that appear inconsistent with a gender marker in the plans records, private plans generally do not base their gender data on, or match it with, Social Security records.

However, if a person is enrolled in Medicare, or the Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income programs, their insurance record will be based on Social Security data. In that case, they may experience automatic refusals for coverage of services that appear inconsistent with a gender marker in Social Security records. This type of denial can usually be resolved by having your providers office either add a specific billing code, contact the plan, or help you request a formal coverage determination.

Impact And Policy Implications

Both the poverty threshold and the FBR assume that a couple is better off financially than two individuals with the same total income living alone, but they make different assumptions about the size of the economies of scale. The poverty threshold in 2001 was 28 percent higher for a couple than for an individual$11,569 versus $9,039whereas the FBR was 50 percent higher. As a result, the FBR for an individual was 70 percent of the poverty threshold, while the FBR for a couple equaled 83 percent of the poverty threshold for a two-adult family.

Although the benefit rate for couples is based on the assumption that a married couple economizes on living expenses, other recipients, whether or not related, might also choose to live together to economize. This situation raises the question of how married couples should be treated compared with other multirecipient households. Multirecipient households that comprise only married couples represent about 30 percent of all multirecipient households. Table 2 breaks down the number and percentage of multirecipient households by the size of the household. Overall, almost 1.9 million recipients, or 30 percent of all SSI recipients not living in an institution or a board and care facility, live in a multirecipient household: 30 percent of those 65 or older, 28 percent of those aged 18 to 64, and 38 percent of those under 18.3

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Were With You When You Start Work

Your employer verifies your Social Security number with us at every new job. Doing so helps reduce fraud and improves the accuracy of your earnings records.

Employers collect Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA taxes, and report earnings to us electronically. This is how we track your earnings and is how you earn Social Security retirement, disability, and survivors coverage for you and your family. A worker earns up to four Social Security credits each year and needs 40 credits, or 10 years of work, to qualify for retirement benefits.

Verify your earnings record by creating a mySocial Security and checking your Social Security Statement.

Older Age Cohort: Age 6069

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The Older Age cohort in 2001 is comprised of women born between 1932 and 1941. Women’s marital histories at this age are particularly salient as these women have already reached, or are on the verge of, retirement age. As a starting point, the share of Older Age women potentially eligible for spouse or widow benefits on the basis of current marital status was determined . In 2001, 63.7 percent of Older Age women were currently married and 19.7 percent were widows, compared with 63.0 percent and 25.4 percent, respectively, in 1985 .18

Table 2. Percentage distribution of women, by marital status and total number of marriages, age, and survey, 1985 and 2001

NOTES: Data are weighted using sample weights.
CPS = Current Population Survey SIPP = Survey of Income and Program Participation.

In terms of women who would not be potentially eligible for spouse or widow benefits, Table 2 shows that roughly 4 percent of Older Age women were never-married in 2001, which is consistent with what Iams and Ycas found in the 1985 CPS. While there is no observable change in the share of never-married Older Age women, the data reveal important changes in divorce patterns such that a larger share of Older Age women in 2001 were currently divorced or had ever-divorced than was recorded in the 1985 CPS estimates . However, potential eligibility for spouse or widow benefits among divorced women cannot be determined by current marital status alone.

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Survivors Benefits For Widows And Widowers

Widows and widowers are entitled to 100% of their deceased spouse’s Social Security benefit if they are at or beyond full retirement age. If you’re at least 60 but under full retirement age, you can begin claiming survivors benefits, but you’ll only get 71% to 99% of the total benefit amount per check. You can begin claiming survivors benefits at age 50 if you’re disabled, or at any age if you’re caring for your deceased spouse’s child who is under 16 or disabled.

It’s worth noting that you still may qualify for survivors benefits even if your spouse did not work for 10 or more years. It all depends on the age at which they died. The younger they were, the fewer years in the workforce are required. If you’re unsure whether your deceased spouse qualified, contact the Social Security Administration.

Getting remarried may end your survivors benefits, but it depends on when it happens. If you’re age 60 or older when you remarry , you’ll still be able to receive survivors benefits based on your deceased spouse’s work record. But if you remarry prior to this, you no longer will be able to receive survivors benefits.

Divorcees also may be entitled to survivors benefits if their ex-spouse dies. In order to qualify, they must have been married to the deceased for at least 10 years and not have remarried.

How The Ssa Determines Eligibility For Ssi Benefits

When the SSA reviews your SSI claim, you must meet the agencys strict income and resource limits to qualify. In 2022, here is the maximum value of countable resources you can have and still qualify for SSI:

  • $2,000 for individuals
  • $3,000 for couples

Of course, after marriage, the SSA views some of your spouses income and financial assets as your own. Examples may include your spouses current work earnings, SSDI payments, owned properties or vehicles, and other types of income. If your new spouse has a job that pays well, your combined resources may put you over the SSI benefits maximum eligibility limit. Your combined household income must be less than $1,350/month to qualify for SSI payments in 2022.

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How Much Can Married Couples Receive In Ssi Benefits

If you and your new spouse both qualify for SSI benefits, the SSA may change your monthly check amount. In 2022, the maximum individual payment is $841 per monthin SSI benefits. If both spouses qualify for the maximum SSI payment, youll receive one monthly check for $1,261, not two for $841/apiece.

Student Earned Income Exclusion

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Under current law, a portion of the earned income of a child receiving SSI who SSA determines to be a student is excluded when determining his or her benefit. In 2003, a student can exclude up to $1,340 per month . The act defines a child as an unmarried individual who is not head of a household and is under age 18, or is under age 22 and a student regularly attending school in preparation for gainful employment. Therefore, students who are married do not qualify for the exclusion.

Impact and Policy Implications. This exclusion is one of several work incentives designed to maximize one’s ability to work to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The same purpose would seem applicable to a married student.

Exclusion Option 4: Eliminate the marriage restriction for the student earned income exclusion. This option was included in H.R. 743, The Social Security Protection Act, as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on September 17, 2003. That proposal would allow the student earned income exclusion to apply for any individual who is a student under age 22 by removing the term “child” from the statutory language for the exclusion, thereby eliminating the marriage and head-of-household restrictions.

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What We Will Ask You

Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions.


You should also have your checkbook or other papers that show your account number at a bank, credit union or other financial institution so you can sign up for Direct Deposit, and avoid worries about lost or stolen checks and mail delays.

With You Through Lifes Journey

Social Security touches the life of every American, both directly and indirectly. We help older Americans, workers who become disabled, wounded warriors, and families in which a spouse or parent dies. Our commitment also extends to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals covered by Social Securitys many programs and services.

Today, about 176 million people work and pay Social Security taxes, and about 65 million people receive monthly Social Security benefits. With retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, we improve the quality of life for millions throughout lifes journey.

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General Income Earned Income And Infrequent And Irregular Income Exclusions

The SSI program allows a number of exclusions from income in determining eligibility and one’s monthly benefit amount. The rules for the three most frequently used income exclusions are not marriage neutral and result in what may be perceived as marriage penalties.

The most common income exclusion is the general income exclusion. The first $20 of unearned income of an eligible individual or eligible couple, other than unearned income from other federally funded means-tested programs , is excluded from countable income. Any portion of the exclusion not used for unearned income is used for earned income. A married couple is entitled to only one $20 exclusion per month regardless of whether one or both members have income.

The second most common exclusion is the earned income exclusion. The first $65 of earned income plus one-half of the remainder is excluded from the eligible individual’s or eligible couple’s countable earned income. Like the general income exclusion, a married couple is entitled to only one $65 exclusion per month regardless of whether both members of the couple have earned income. Therefore, two working members of a couple would receive $32.50 less in total income than would two unrelated eligible individuals who have earned income and live in the same household.

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