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Dependents’ Eligibility For Social Security Disability Benefits


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a type of benefit for those who are disabled. It is available for those who have worked and paid Social Security taxes on income they have earned through work. The age limit is 62 years old, since those who are 62 or older can receive regular Social Security benefits.

What you may not know is that SSDI benefits are also available to the family members of the disabled person. Eligible family members may include spouses, children, and even ex-spouses may be able to receive monthly payments in some cases. If a family member qualifies, they could receive as much as 50% of the amount the disabled person is getting. However, there is a limit. Altogether, the total amount of payments cannot exceed 150% of the disabled person’s benefit.

Eligibility Requirements

A family member can also receive SSDI benefits if they meet these requirements:

  • A spouse who is at least 62 years old
  • A spouse who is taking care of a child who is under the age 16 or disabled
  • A child who is under age 18 (or age 19, if attending high school). This may include adopted children, stepchildren, and grandchildren.
  • An unmarried child over the age of 18 who became disabled before age 22.

It is also possible for an ex-spouse to receive SSDI benefits if you are receiving them. While you may not be too happy to share your benefits with an ex-spouse, keep in mind that if a former spouse receives SSDI benefits on your record, it won’t affect the amount you receive in any way. However, not all ex-spouses are eligible. The divorced spouse must meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 62 years old
  • Married to you for 10 years or longer
  • Not currently married

How Much Can a Family Member Receive? 

A family member can receive up to 50% of the disabled person’s benefit amount. In 2021, the average SSDI benefit amount was $1,282.37, which means a child under the age of 18 could receive half of that, or $641.18 per month.

However, if there are multiple family members who are eligible to receive SSDI benefits, the amount could be lower. The Social Security Administration (SSA) caps the total SSDI benefits a family can receive at 150%. This means that the SSA could reduce each person’s payments (except payments for the disabled person) to keep the total below the cap.

There are special rules for children. If a disabled parent dies while receiving SSDI, benefits are available to the child. The child is able to receive up to 75% of the person’s Social Security benefits. Also, a disabled child can qualify for their own SSDI benefits even if they have never worked. 

Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability benefits can extend to the disabled person’s family members in some cases. Make sure you understand the eligibility requirements so you don’t miss out.

Seek legal help from White Plains Social Security disability lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon. Our team will help you get the benefits you and your family deserve. To schedule a consultation, call 914-294-2145 or fill out the online form.



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