What Are Family Benefits?

Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits and Family Eligibility

After being awarded Social Security disability benefits, your family members may also qualify for payments, including your children and spouse. However, it's important to note that these benefits do not apply to SSI claims.

Benefits for Children

Payments can be made to your children if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are unmarried and younger than 18.
  • They are between 18 and 19 years old and attending elementary or secondary school as full-time students.
  • They are 18 or older and severely disabled, with the disability starting before the age of 22.

Additionally, children born or adopted into the family after a finding of disability may also be eligible for benefits, subject to SSA's determination of eligibility.

Benefits for Your Spouse

Your spouse may be entitled to benefits if they are:

  • Age 62 or older.
  • Caring for your child who is younger than 16 or disabled and entitled to benefits on your record.

The monthly benefit for each qualified family member is calculated from your monthly disability amount. Each eligible family member would receive half of your monthly payment, though this amount cannot exceed 150 to 180 percent of your total monthly benefit.

Ex-Spouse Claiming Disability Benefits

Yes, it is true that an ex-spouse can claim disability benefits off your work record under certain circumstances. To be eligible, they must:

  • Have been married to you for at least 10 years.
  • Be divorced for at least two years.
  • Be at least 62 years of age.
  • Be unmarried.
  • Not be eligible for an equal or higher benefit based on their own work or someone else's work.

Death of the Benefit Recipient

If the benefit recipient passes away, family members may still be eligible for benefits based on the same criteria outlined above. A widow or widower can also collect benefits if they are aged 50 or older and disabled. Generally, SSA requires a person to be married to the deceased benefit recipient for at least 9 months to qualify for these benefits, unless the death was deemed accidental.

One-Time Death Benefit: In the event of the benefit recipient's death, a one-time death benefit of $255.00 may be paid to qualifying family members. This benefit is often used to help cover the final expenses of the claimant.

For Further Assistance

Navigating the financial aspects of disability benefits can be complex and overwhelming. If you have questions about your disability claim or its impact on your family, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our compassionate and knowledgeable staff will guide you through the process and address any concerns you may have.