Important: We updated this article in July 2023 to make sure all info below is both current and correct. In order to receive monthly disability benefits, you must file claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the agency finds proof that you cannot work for at least 12 months (or your condition is expected to result in your death), then they’ll award you SSDI benefits. Once you’re approved, you might wonder which family members can get SSDI dependent benefits. We’ll explain how that process works for you below.
Can Family Members Get SSDI Benefits?
The short answer is yes, certain immediate family members may also qualify for SSDI dependent benefits if you get them, too. This list includes:
- Former spouse, if you’re now divorced
- Children aged 16 or younger that live at home, or up to age 19 and attending high school
- Adult child disabled before age 22
- Disabled child still living at home
How Much In SSDI Dependent Benefits Can Family Members Receive Each Month?
The SSA states that each family member may qualify for monthly benefits up to half of your own disability rate. Still, it’s important to note the limit on how much the SSA can pay your family. Collectively, the finalized amount depends on your benefit income and the number of family members who qualify. In most cases, that amount ranges between 150%-180% of your individual monthly SSDI check.
How Can Spouses Qualify For Benefits?
Any spouse who qualifies for SSDI dependent benefits must be at least 62 years old, unless he or she collects a higher Social Security benefit based on his or her own earnings record. A stay-at-home parent spouse of any age can qualify for SSDI dependent benefits up until the child turns 16.
Even if you remarried, a former spouse you divorced may qualify for SSDI dependent benefits if:
- Your marriage lasted at least 10 years
- He or she is at least 62 years old
- He or she is currently unmarried
- The divorced spouse doesn’t qualify for an equal or higher benefit based on his or her own Social Security work record
Biological or adopted kids and stepchildren may qualify if they are:
- Unmarried and under age 18
- Age 18 or 19 and a full-time student (up to 12th grade in high school)
- Older than 18, but living with a disability that started before age 22
Grandchildren that live with you may also be eligible for SSDI dependent benefits. Additionally, disabled children must meet the SSA’s same definition of disability as adults who apply for SSDI.
Get Free Expert Guidance on Qualifying for SSDI Benefits
Understanding the SSDI benefits process and what comes after claim approval can be difficult. Ask a Social Security attorney near you which of your family members may also qualify for benefits. We can connect you with one today for a free conversation by phone, if you like!
Want to speak with an SSDI expert near you for free about qualifying for benefits? Click the button below now to start your free online benefits quiz and see if you may qualify:
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.