What Your Family Is Entitled to if You’re Found Disabled by Social Security:
Dependent Benefits & Auxillary Benefits
When a person is awarded Social Security Disability (SSDI), they often have dependents that rely on the disabled person’s income. Thus, there may be times when the dependents of a disabled person become eligible for benefits from Social Security. However, eligibility for dependent benefits is based on the type of benefits that the disabled individual receives as well as the dependent’s relationship to the disabled individual. This type of benefits does not apply to individuals who have been awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI); dependent benefits are only for the dependent’s of Social Security Disability (SSDI) claimants. Listed below are the family members that may qualify for dependents benefits when disability has been awarded to a provider.
Spouse: the spouse of a disabled person may be eligible to receive benefits if he/she is 62 years or older; or if the spouse is caring for a child who is under the age of 16 and is eligible for benefits as well.
Ex-Spouse: the former spouse of a disabled individual, who is now divorced from the SSDI claimant but was married to him or her for 10 or more years may be eligible if all of the following requirements are met:
- The ex-spouse cannot be currently married to another (unless the later marriage has ended by death, divorce, or annulment), and
- The ex-spouse is 62 years or older, and
- The ex-spouse is eligible for SSDI benefits, AND
- The benefits that the ex-spouse may receive off their own work record would be less than the amount they would be eligible for under the disabled claimant’s work record.
Keep in mind that the marital status of the disability claimant, who is receiving benefits, does not affect the ex-spouse’s ability to receive dependent benefits.
Children: Biological children, adopted children, and step-children (dependent grandchildren may qualify as well) may all receive benefits if a parent becomes eligible for SSDI benefits as long as they are unmarried and younger than 18 years old (or 19 and still in high school). A child over the age of 18 may also qualify if he/she is found disabled due to a disability that occurred prior to the age of 22.
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