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Can i sue ssi for putting my girlfriend as my spouse?

Chula Vista, CA |

i get ssi benefits for the rest of my life because of my disability. on 7/17/12 i got a letter from ssi they put my girlfriend as my spouse and they need her pay stubs. i pay the whole rent on my own and what ever i have left over i use that to get the things i need. it say voluntary that means me or her send her pay stubs when ever we want but if we dont they will cancel my benefits. they cant do that thats not right at all. and i told them that shes not my wife shes my girlfriend over the phone. they know that we live together. if they cancel my benefits we dont have a place to live we would be on the streets for the rest of our lives. ive been battling ssi for the stupidest things. what should i do?

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Attorney answers 3


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested welfare program. Financial eligibility for SSI is limited to the elderly and disabled who have low income and little in assets. When you were awarded SSI, the Social Security Administration provided a pamphlet of information about how these determinations are made. You should pay attention to the information in it. It should be no surprise to you that you are required to periodically show that your financial situation continues to qualify. Under certain circumstances the income of other adults in your household is "deemed" to be available for your support. You cannot circumvent this rule by maintaining a non-marital relationship. This is not a "stupid SSI thing;" it is a correct application of the rules of eligibility.

By the way, you have not been awarded SSI "for the rest of your life." While your disability may be permanent, your financial eligibility is not.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


I would only add that if you are being provided room and board by another person (such as your girlfriend) then your SSI (welfare disability check) is subject to reduction. You may want to consult a legal aid lawyer in your area for further advice. Your SSI check in not permanent. It can be taken from you if you do not financially qualify or if you improve and are no longer qualified for a disability check.

This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is not meant and should not be construed to be the formation of an attorney client relationship. I practice Virginia Workers compensation law and Social Security Disability law.


In addition to the sound suggestions from my esteemed colleagues, I offer the following: If they decide to reduce your benefits due to deeming of your girlfriend's income / resources then you need to appeal that notice within the deadline provided. You also need to be sure and ask for continuing benefits at the prior level while you are appealing the reduction. To give yourself the best shot to avoid deeming, you need to be sure not to represent yourself as married to friends, family, government agencies, vendors, your landlord; do not share a last name, get a separate bank account, etc.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.

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