Re: ssd and marriage
Marriage does not affect SSD at all. They tax the combined income after some 30,000 or more total (see site or ask tax consultant for exact number). Additionally most states and some cities also tax SSD as well.
The amount that your children gets is one half total divided by the number of children until age 18 or 19 if still in school. Once a child turns 18/19 they loose their benefits but the rest of the childrens benifits will increase to always equal one half. Each time you have an increase they will as well.
I found that by itemizing I have never had to pay any taxes even with a 6 figure salary (husbands). We own our home so the interest write off really helps a heap! I really suggest you pay someone to do your taxes if you are unsure of the exact laws. Granted it can be expensive but it can be more expensive if you are audited and did not add your SSD amounts. Your childrens amounts are not taxed nor are considered part of your income.
No matter how great your illness or pain, there's always someone else who may be worse off.