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Marriage and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

My aunt called her SSI case worker and her boyfriend called his. They were told if they married, they would not receive their full benefits. So they got married by a ordained minister. My aunt wants to know if she's breaking the law?

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By A.J. from Cassopolis, MI

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Did they have a wedding license? If not they aren't legally married. A real ordained minister would know that and basically in my opinion he would be the one breaking the law. If your aunt and her boyfriend have been living together, why do they want to get married? There is a reason that a lot of senior citizens live together and maintain separate bank accounts and that is because if they get married they will lose part of their retirement Social Security.

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No matter what their handicap is, if they would each lose part of their SSI they should be able to work enough to make up the difference of what they would lose. I know lots of people with various handicaps that are working too. Your question left a lot to the imagination. They couldn't get married without having a marriage license that they have to go to the County Court House to obtain.

After a certain period of time the license that is signed after the wedding ceremony gets registered by the state and after that it is a matter of time before Social Security will find out about it. It could be just a few days up to several years. That being said when it gets caught you aunt and her husband will have to pay a certain amount of money back to Social Security. If they did get married and haven't notified Social Security they should do so right away in order to avoid having to pay back a large sum of money.

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Also there is the possibility if your state recognizes "common law" marriages after a couple lives together for 10 years and if that is the case I don't know what effect that would have on SSI benefits. They really have to talk to the local Social Security Office and if they have a case manage through a facility that works with disabled people that person might be able to advise them too.

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January 17, 20180 found this helpful

Not all states recognize common law marriage

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February 26, 20140 found this helpful

I am so glad that redhatterb takes the time to answer questions like this as this advise like all the others seems to be right on the spot.
Please take this advise to your friend as they are the ones who should be asking questions.

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March 8, 20140 found this helpful

Most people get married by ordained ministers. They will have to report their union since it will get recorded in the courts. If they fail to do so and keep cashing their checks, they'll probably be charged with fraud, may get fined and jail time, and will still have to pay the money back.

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