Disability benefits are provided to disabled individuals who meet certain requirements established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). But, if you are approved, you are not the only one who could be awarded disability benefits. Certain members of your family could also receive benefits on your record. Here’s what you should know:
The Family Limit
Before learning about who is entitled to benefits on your record, it’s important to understand the maximum amount that could be awarded to your family. The SSA sets a maximum amount of benefits per family, which is calculated based on the number of family members who qualify for benefits and the amount you receive. The limit can vary, but in general, the SSA estimates that you and your family could be eligible to receive up to 150-180% of your disability benefits.
For example, let’s say you receive $2,000 a month in disability benefits. This means the total benefits awarded to you and your family could be between $3,000 and $3,600.
Your spouse can receive benefits on your record as long as he or she is either over the age of 62 or caring for your disabled child who is under the age of 16. If your spouse is caring for your disabled child, he or she will be eligible for these benefits until the child turns 16.
Your spouse is not the only partner who is eligible to receive benefits on your record--your ex-spouse could qualify, too. If you were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years, he or she could receive benefits regardless of whether or not you have remarried. However, your ex-spouse must be unmarried in order to qualify.
Because you are no longer living with your ex-spouse, the amount awarded to him or her will not count towards your family’s limit.
The SSA will provide benefits to your children--even if they are not your biological children--as long as they are unmarried and meet one of these requirements:
- Under the age of 18, or
- 18 or 19 years old and enrolled full-time in school, or
- Over the age of 18 with a disability that began before the child turned 22.
Each qualified child could be paid monthly benefits that are equal to one-half of your monthly benefits. However, these benefits could be reduced depending on the limit set for your family as a whole.
Are you currently receiving disability benefits? If so, talk to our Social Security attorneys about whether or not your family is eligible for benefits as well. Please call Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.