How to Report Marriage to Social Security

If you are married, the Social Security Administration will need to know about the change. Social Security recipients have ten days to report their change of status to the agency. If they don’t, they may be penalized. That means they may not receive overpayments or additional payments. It’s important to report any changes in your life as soon as possible.

The Social Security Administration has different standards for a married couple. The definition of a spouse is set forth in 7 CFR 271.2 and state law. They are considered married when they live in the same residence and represent themselves as a married couple to the community. If they don’t, the SSA may not pay benefits until the names match. In addition, if the names don’t match, your paper checks might not be cashed.

For example, an unmarried couple with only one member who is entitled to benefits would be considered married if they have a common-law spouse. If this is the case, the SSI program would no longer count the unmarried person’s income or resources against him or her. This would simplify program rules and make the system more equitable for unmarried people.

However, it’s important to note that the SSA doesn’t use marriage as a neutral exclusion. If you have a spouse who is not a recipient of SSI, the SSA may still consider their income when determining your monthly benefits.