What Are Family Benefits?

After you are awarded Social Security disability benefits, members of your family may also be eligible for payments. This includes children as well as your spouse. However, please be advised that this does not apply to SSI claims.
Benefits can be paid to your children as long as they are unmarried and:
          Younger than 18
          Between 18 and 19 years old, but still attending elementary or secondary school as full-time students ; or
          Age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started prior to the age of 22)
Benefits may also be payable to children that are born or adopted into the family after a finding of disability has occurred. However, SSA must determine whether or not the child is eligible for benefits.
Your spouse may also be entitled to benefits if he or she fits the following criteria:
          Age 62 or older; or
          At any age he or she was caring for your child who is either younger than 16 or disabled and entitled to benefits on your record
The monthly benefit of which your family member would be entitled to is calculated from your monthly disability amount. Each qualified member would receive half of your monthly payment, but this amount is not to exceed 150 to 180 percent of your total monthly benefit.
“I heard my ex can claim disability off my account. Is this true?”
Yes. Many people are surprised when they learn their ex-spouse can claim disability benefits off their work record. In some situations, he or she can claim these benefits, even if the wage earner is not, but certain requirements must be met. The ex-spouse must:
          Have been married to you at least 10 years;
          Have been divorced at least two years;
          Be at least 62 years of age;
          Be unmarried and
          Not eligible for an equal or higher benefit based on his or her own work or someone else’s work.
“What happens if I die while receiving benefits?
This issue is understandably of great concern to benefit recipients. In order for a family member to collect your benefits after you pass away, he or she must fit the same criteria outlined above, with one addition: a widow or widower can also collect your benefits if he or she is aged 50 or older and disabled.
 Typically, SSA requires a person to be married to the deceased benefit recipient for at least 9 months in order to qualify to receive those benefits. However, this usually does not apply if the death of the benefit recipient was deemed accidental.
Parents of a deceased disability claimant may also claim these funds if he or she was dependent on the deceased claimant for at least one half of their support.
Your ex-spouse can also still collect benefits after you pass away, but they must meet certain criteria as well. Benefit amounts paid to an ex-spouse does not affect the benefits being paid to other family members. Your ex-spouse can collect benefits after you pass if they are:
          At least 60 years old (or 50 and disabled) and married to your for at least 10 years; or
          Of any age if he or she is caring for a child who is eligible for benefits under your work record; and
          Not be eligible for an equal or higher benefit amount based on his or her own work; and
          Not currently married, unless the remarriage occurred after age 60 or after age 50 if disabled
Lastly, a one-time death benefit can be paid to your family if they qualify, in the amount of $255.00. People usually use this benefit to help cover the final expenses of the claimant.
Still Have Questions?
The financial aspect of disability benefits can be confusing and intimidating. If you have questions about your pending disability claim, or if you are considering applying for disability but have concerns about how it would affect your family, please call us. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will put your mind at ease as we guide you through what is typically a difficult and emotional process.
 Do you still have questions? We are conveniently located in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Toledo, Lorain, Mentor and Ashtabula to meet with you. Please click here for more information!