I was helping a friend recently and was asked by a potential client whether she could apply for Social Security Disability benefits.  I asked the person a little about the medical issues causing them to consider filing for disability.  She was in an auto collision suffering a concussion and began suffering from cognitive problems including memory, concentration, and executive function issues.  After learning more, I told them to call my office and set up a free consultation so that we could speak in more detail, but it sounded like we would be able to help. 

She then asked, “Am I going to be eligible for Social Security if my husband works?” 

This person had been suffering for a while and had not applied for Social Security Disability benefits because she believed she would not qualify since her husband worked.  This is a common reason I have seen for people delaying in applying for disability insurance benefits.

I asked if she had worked.  She had.  I asked how many years she had worked.  She said from the time I was in my teens until the accident (she was in her 40s). 

Based on this information, I was able to tell that she is likely eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if she meets the medical requirements.  And, because of this, she can apply right now even though her husband works.  Her husband’s employment does not have an effect on her own disability benefits application.

Now, if she did not work enough or had not worked recently, she may not be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and would need to consider SSI or Supplemental Security Income.  In SSI cases, your spouse’s income will matter. 

Can My Spouse Work While I Collect Disability?

But in her case, and in many others, if you have worked your entire life and paid your Social Security taxes responsibly, then you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits even if your spouse works, AND your spouse can continue to work while you are drawing your SSDI payments.

If you are sick or injured and have worked your whole life but now cannot due to your limitations, take our quick quiz to find out if you may qualify. We know the ins and outs of the system and can tell you if you have a valid claim.