Can I apply for disability benefits if my spouse is working?

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 that are causing them to consider disability.  She was in an auto collision suffering a concussion and began suffering from cognitive issues 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 stated, “well, am I going to be able to apply because my husband works?” 

Can I get SSDI if my spouse 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 for 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 benefit 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. 

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.

If you are sick or injured, have worked your whole life but now cannot due to your limitations, give us a call at Louisiana Disability Law for your free consultation – (985) 240-9773.  We know the ins and outs of the system and can tell you if you have a valid claim.  Call us or simply use the contact form to the left.

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Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Disability and Personal Injury Attorney