Marla and John both worked to support their three children. So, their finances really took a hit when Marla stopped working because of her debilitating multiple sclerosis. She applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and Social Security approved her application. However, her monthly benefits still fell far below what she had been earning. Marla and John wondered if a family could be eligible for benefits when one member is already getting disability benefits. That’s the question we will consider in this article.
General Family Disability Information
Typically, each person in your family might be eligible for up to 50 percent of the amount you receive. However, the Social Security Administration (“Social Security”) does restrict how much your family as a whole can receive. The maximum benefit a family can receive ranges from 150 to 180 percent of the amount the person getting disability benefits receives.
Social Security also has some specific guidelines for family member eligibility.
Getting Disability Benefits for Spouses
Your current spouse’s eligibility hinges on whether age and whether he or she is collecting Social Security on their own.
For example, a spouse who is age 62 or older might receive family benefits “unless he or she collects a higher Social Security benefit based on his or her earnings records.” So, your spouse might receive family benefits or just get Social Security benefits on their own. Also, the amount is permanently decreased if the spouse takes the benefit before reaching full retirement age.
A spouse of any age might be eligible for benefits if he or she is taking care of your child who is under age 16. However, those family benefits probably will end when the child celebrates his or her 16th birthday. At that point, the spouse may qualify on their own merit.
Interestingly, your divorced spouse might also qualify for disability benefits on your work record.
Disability Benefits for Children
The term “children” includes your biological kids, adopted kids, or stepchildren. In some cases, a dependent grandchild might also be eligible for family benefits while you are getting disability benefits.
In an event, the child must be:
under age 18 or age 18-19 and a full-time student through grade 12 or
over age 18 and disabled before age 22
For some kids who are eligible for benefits, that eligibility ends at age 18. If you want to understand fully how children receive disability benefits, contact an experienced disability lawyer.
When You Are Getting Disability Benefits, Is Your Family Eligible, Too?
The answer is, “Probably.” In some cases, you will know that your family is eligible. But the rules and regulations about getting disability benefits are confusing to most of us. That’s why we have Social Security Disability lawyers!
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.