It's possible. Under Social Security Administration (SSA) rules, your dependents may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits as long as you and they remain eligible. These benefits are often referred to as dependents’ or auxiliary benefits.
Applying for them can significantly increase your household income and help pay monthly expenses.
Family Members and SSDI Benefits
Family members could receive a percentage of your SSDI benefits. This won't reduce the amount of monthly benefits you receive. Family members who may be eligible include:
- Spouse. A spouse caring for your minor child may be entitled to benefits at any age. If he or she isn't caring for a minor but is at least age 62, there's a possibility of benefit eligibility based on your earnings record. However, there's an early retirement penalty for obtaining benefits before full retirement age. In addition, if he or she qualifies for higher benefits individually, that may negate access to your funds.
- Ex-spouse. If you were married to your ex-spouse for 10 years or more, this person may qualify for benefits on your record if he or she is 62 or older and unmarried. Your current marital status won't affect your ex's eligibility, and payments to him or her won't reduce your allotment. As with an existing spouse, if your ex would receive higher benefits on an individual record, this makes him or her ineligible for family benefits.
- Children. If you qualify for SSDI benefits, your biological or adopted child, stepchild, or dependent grandchild may qualify for a portion of your benefits. The child must be unmarried and under 18, or between 18 and 19 and a full-time student in a grade no higher than 12th. If a child is 18 or older with a disability, he or she may also qualify for benefits if the condition started before age 22.
There's a maximum amount of family benefits your loved ones can receive. Determining this allotment can be complicated. Our experienced Social Security attorneys are available to answer your questions and help evaluate the potential for financial care. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today.