Qualifying for SSDI with a Partner or Spouse
If you’re in need of SSDI, you may wonder how your spouse or partner plays into your chances of approval. SSDI and joint accounts or assets can feel a little complicated.
So here are some of the most frequently asked questions our Memphis SSDI attorneys get about applying when you have joint accounts.
The Key Rule with SSDI Approval
With most questions around SSDI and joint accounts or assets, there’s one main rule to remember: your approval isn’t based on a means test.
In other words, even if you have access to money through your partner, you can still qualify for SSDI. The disability program focuses on other specific qualifications.
Namely, SSDI is an insurance program that you pay into through your taxes every paycheck. So to qualify, you need to prove your work history, age, and other specifics around whether you’ve put enough into the system to receive benefits.
You’ll also have to prove your disability status and show how it affects your ability to make a sufficient income.
SSDI and Joint Accounts: Does My Bank Account Affect My Chances?
Unlike other forms of Social Security, SSDI functions as an insurance policy. So it doesn’t matter if you have a joint bank account or any other kind of bank account to qualify. SSDI and joint accounts are treated totally separately.
The SSDI application won’t ask about how much money you’ve set aside in savings or keep in the bank. It’s meant to supplement your income after disability, so the money you already have or the amount you’re able to save over time doesn’t change what you’re owed in benefits.
What About Joint Assets, Like a Nice House?
Similarly, joint assets shouldn’t affect your application, either. The SSA doesn’t ask about the purchase price of your home or car.
Some people who experience disability may choose to make changes to their assets, like downsizing to a smaller and more accessible home. If you’re unable to work the same amount as before, you may find it wise to make financial changes in your own life – especially if your SSDI benefits don’t entirely cover your monthly expenses.
But those decisions are entirely separate from the SSA and aren’t required in order to receive SSDI.
Can I Get SSDI If My Spouse Is Wealthy?
Your spouse’s income shouldn’t impact your ability to get SSDI, but your own income can.
To qualify, you have to show your disability severely impacts your ability to work and earn a stable income. And the SSA imposes strict limitations on how much work you can do and for how much money.
However, “income” is different from “wealth.” Plenty of people who have a lot of wealth in savings, assets, trust funds, and the like could still qualify for SSDI.
That said, if you or your spouse has access to a lot of money, you may find the SSDI process isn’t worth it for you. It can take months or even years to get approved, if you put together a strong application or appeal with the help of an attorney. Even after approval, high income families may find the benefits too low to make a significant difference.
Our Memphis SSDI attorneys work with people of all income levels to get SSDI benefits if they need them. But most people who apply for those benefits desperately need the support to make ends meet.
What If My Spouse Already Receives SSDI?
The SSA looks at each applicant as an individual who needs to have paid into the system on their own. As a result, your spouse’s SSDI status won’t help or hurt you.
Instead, you’ll want to focus on proving your disability impacts your ability to work and show how you have all the other qualifications they want to see.
To help, we’ve written a free report about applying for disability that guides you through all the factors you need to show in your application.
Help With Your SSDI Application
If you need help with your SSDI application, our attorneys are available any time to answer your questions.
Remember the SSA denies the vast majority of applications. When that happens, you have exactly 60 days to file an appeal before it’s too late.
In that situation, you should contact us immediately to get help. Studies show you have a much, much higher chance of getting the benefits you need with the help of an attorney.
Our lawyers find what went wrong in your first application, strengthen your claim, represent you in court, and navigate every step of the appeals process on your behalf.
What’s more, we don’t get paid a penny unless you win. And even then it’s just a fraction of your past-due benefits. You keep every dollar moving forward.