The Social Security Administration (SSA) has different guidelines for individuals that are single or unmarried and for individuals who are married when determining benefit eligibility. Since Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews various factors such as income, resources, age, citizenship, and other eligibility requirements.

When the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews eligibility for a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipient/applicant, who is married, a portion of the recipient’s/applicant’s spouse’s income or earnings  is deemed. Meaning that a certain amount of the spouse’s income is counted as the recipient’s/applicant’s. Deemed income is applied or counted when the recipient/applicant of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) lives with a spouse who is ineligible or does not receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  A hiccup can arise here because the deemed income may put the recipient/applicant over the resource/asset limit for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility.  The current resource limit for couples is $3,000.

If both partners receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) there is a maximum federal benefit rate that is applied. The current 2016 maximum federal benefit rate for married couples is $1,100, which means that both recipients cannot receive more than this amount ($1,100). 

As a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), if there are changes in specific areas of your life such as change in address, change in income, living arrangements, or other changes that must be reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA) because the changes could affect eligibility. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a list of which changes are to be reported, and one of them does include change in marital status (including same-sex relationships).

POMS SI 01330.180 Examples Spouse-to-Spouse Deeming https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0501330180

POMS SI 01320.450 Deeming – Change of Status – Couples https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501320450