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How to Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Your Dependents

Are you wondering how to secure disability benefits for your dependents? Understanding the ins and outs of this process can be crucial for providing financial support for your loved ones. Disability benefits for dependents can offer monetary help to improve their well-being significantly. This blog post will guide you through the eligibility criteria and documentation needed to secure disability benefits for your dependents.

Understanding Disability Benefits for Dependents

When you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, certain dependent family members may qualify for benefits based on your work record. These include your spouse, divorced spouse, children, and adult children disabled before age 22. Even dependent grandchildren may qualify under the right circumstances.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not provide dependent benefits. However, an eligible child or spouse may also qualify for SSI benefits.

Eligibility Criteria for Dependents

Dependents must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify for disability benefits. Let’s examine the key requirements for determining whether dependents are eligible.

Benefits For Your Children

If you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children, including your biological children, adopted children, or stepchildren, may also be eligible for payments based on your record.

To receive these benefits, the child must meet certain criteria:

  • They must be unmarried.
  • They must be under 18 years old; or
  • They are 18-19 years old and enrolled as a full-time student (up to 12th grade); or
  • They are 18 or older and have a disability that began before age 22.

Benefits typically stop when a child turns 18 unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student in high school at 18, the benefits will continue until they graduate or reach 19, whichever comes first.

Benefits for Your Spouse

Your spouse may be eligible for Social Security benefits at age 62 or older unless they qualify for a higher benefit based on their own earnings record. For your spouse to receive spousal SSDI benefits, you must have been married for at least one year. If they care for a child related to you who is under 16 or a disabled child, they may qualify for compensation at any age.

If your spouse worked and paid into Social Security, they will receive their own retirement benefit first. However, if the spousal benefit based on your record is higher, they will receive a combination of benefits equal to the higher amount. If your spouse receives a pension from non-Social Security covered employment, such as government or foreign work, the Social Security Administration may reduce their Social Security spousal benefit.

Applying for Disability Benefits for Dependents

When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, it’s wise to apply for benefits for your eligible spouse and children simultaneously. Delaying their applications could lead to longer wait times before monthly payments start. These documents are crucial in proving the dependent’s eligibility for disability benefits:

  1. Birth Certificates: Ensure you have the birth certificates of the dependent children you are applying for.
  2. Social Security Numbers: Provide the dependents’ social security numbers to verify their identities and eligibility for benefits.
  3. Proof of Relationship: Include documents such as marriage certificates or adoption papers to prove the relationship between the applicant and dependents.

How Much SSDI Benefits Can My Family Receive?

Each family member could receive up to 50% of your monthly disability benefit. However, there’s a cap on the total amount your family can receive. This varies based on your benefit and the number of qualifying family members, but it generally falls between 150% and 180% of your disability payment. A divorced spouse who qualifies for benefits will not affect how much you or your family receive.

Get Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim

Remember, seeking professional advice or exploring further resources can help you make informed decisions and maximize the benefits available to your loved ones. Our skilled Social Security Disability attorney, Nick Ortiz, dedicates his practice to helping claimants get the disability benefits they deserve. Call our Pensacola office today at (888) 321-8131 to schedule a free case evaluation and learn how we can help secure your disability benefits.