If you’re considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may be wondering who, if anyone, in your family might also be eligible to receive benefits if you are awarded. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are specific eligibility requirements for family members. Eligibility and benefits rules for family are complicated, so let’s look at some of the factors that are considered.
Who is eligible?
Under your work record, legal dependents may be eligible for SSDI benefits. That may include your biological or adopted child, grandchild or stepchild, legal ward, or spouse, but there are several other requirements an eligible dependent must meet.
A spouse may be eligible for benefits if they meet one of the following three requirements: they are at least 62 years old; they are the caregiver of a child under the age of 16; or they are the caregiver of a disabled child. If you were married for at least ten years, your former spouse may also qualify under your work history record.
Children may be eligible for benefits depending on their age, marital status, student status, or disability status. They must meet one of the following three requirements to receive benefits under your account: under 19 and unmarried; 19, unmarried, and a full-time high-school student; 18 or older, unmarried, and disabled (the disability eligibility date should begin prior to their 22nd birthday.) Disabled adult children can sometimes also qualify for benefits, even if they are married.
A grandchild or stepchild may be eligible for benefits if they meet all of the following requirements: their parents are either deceased or disabled; they are 18 years old or younger; they live in your home; you funded at least half of the child’s support in the year prior to your disability eligibility (if they’re under one year old, you should have funded at least half of the child’s support since birth).
How much can my dependents receive?
Each one of your eligible dependents can receive a monthly payment of up to 50% of your own monthly SSDI payment. However, the total of all your dependents’ payments cannot exceed 150% to 180% of yours. So, if you have four or more eligible dependents, the SSA will simply adjust each dependent’s payment amount to ensure that the total amount of benefits won’t exceed the SSDI monthly limits.
How do I apply?
You can either apply for dependent benefits at the same time that you apply for disability for yourself, or you can apply later. A Social Security disability lawyer can help you navigate the eligibility requirements for your dependents and assist with the application process. If you’re considering applying for disability, or you’ve already begun, contact Molly Burke Law Office today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation!