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Disabilities threaten marriages in the United States

On Behalf of | May 3, 2019 | same-sex divorce |

With so many people celebrating the fact that they can now marry into a same-sex marriage legally throughout the United States, it may seem shocking that some of these individuals would feel forced to divorce. Like other married couples, some people in a same-sex relationship now face a problem. If they have a disability and need Medicaid, they may have to divorce.

People with disabilities may need Medicaid to guarantee health care. In 2019, individuals with disabilities are held to a strict income limit of only $1,157 for a married couple if both spouses are applying and $771 a month for single applicants. Community spouses, those who aren’t applying, can have countable assets up to $126,420. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for errors, even with the home being excluded up to a state-specific value.

For people who are married, it can sometimes be difficult to stay under the shared limit, especially if both parties are working to a degree. More income isn’t necessarily good for couples in this situation.

There are around 61 million people in America with disabilities, and many have to choose between health care or marriage, particularly if their spouses do not have health care coverage or the coverage is not as good as Medicaid would be. Divorce, then, becomes a solution for some couples.

There are other trade-offs as well, like losing a portion of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when marrying (and potentially losing eligibility). If you’re in a same-sex relationship and plan to marry but have a disability, this is something to talk through carefully with your spouse and your attorney.

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