In order to receive monthly disability benefits, you must file claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the agency finds proof that you fit within its narrow definition of disabled and cannot work for at least 12 months (or your condition is expected to result in your death), you will be granted SSDI benefits. Once you’re approved, you might wonder which family members can receive SSDI dependent benefits.
Can Family Members Get SSDI Benefits?
The short answer is yes, certain immediate family members might also qualify for SSDI dependent benefits once your claim’s approved. This list includes:
- Divorced spouse
- Adult child disabled before age 22
- Disabled child
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 disability check.
How Can Spouses Qualify For Benefits?
Any spouse who qualifies for SSDI dependent benefits must be 62 or older, 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 divorced spouse may qualify for SSDI dependent benefits if:
- The 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 the 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 with a disability that started before age 22
Dependent grandchildren may also be eligible for SSDI dependent benefits. Additionally, disabled children must meet the SSA’s same definition of disability as adult claimants.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Understanding the SSDI benefits application process and what comes after you’re approved can be confusing. Ask a Social Security attorney near you which of your family members may qualify for benefits.
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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.