Social Security Disability Family Benefits

Becoming disabled can be especially frightening if you have a family depending on you. Fortunately, Social Security Disability Insurance provides for the possibility that you will have minor children or certain other family members counting on your income, and provides additional benefits to help with their support.

Who Qualifies for Family Benefits?

Spouse and children of people determined to be disabled and with adequate work history may qualify for benefits as well. However, the analysis as to which family members are eligible to receive benefits based on your disability can be complicated.
For example, your spouse may be entitled to benefits, but only if he or she is:

  • Aged 62 or older;
  • Disabled;
  • Caring for your child who is
    • Under the age of 16, or
    • Disabled;

Likewise, your children may qualify for benefits based on your disability, but only if the child is:

  • Under the age of 18 and unmarried;
  • Aged 18-19 but still attending high school;
  • 18 or older and disabled, IF that disability started before age 22

This means that the benefits available for your family may change over time. For example, a spouse who is 35 years old and caring for a child who is ten years old may qualify for benefits until that child turns 16, but then be ineligible until the spouse reaches the age of 62. Some children will stop receiving benefits when they turn 18, while others will continue to receive them for up to a year after their 18th birthdays, if they are still in high school.

Calculating Family Benefits Under Social Security Disability

The benefits calculation is even more complex than the determination as to which family members are eligible for benefits, and depends on factors including:

  • Your work history
  • Whether your children’s other parent is working
  • How many other family members are receiving benefits

As a general rule, total benefits to additional family members will be in the range of 50-80% of the benefits payable to you.

An Experienced Social Security Disability Advocate Can Help

Whether you’re just beginning the process of applying for disability benefits or have been denied and are fighting for your benefits, we can help. Our advocates understand how important establishing benefits is to the security of your family, and will work to help you prove your claim and get benefits for you and your loved ones.
Contact us right now to schedule a free consultation.