How Social Security For Disabled Dependents Works
It is no secret that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has disability benefits for individuals who are no longer have the ability to work. As long as they have paid into the Social Security system, they should be eligible for what is called the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). Apparently, the latter also provides monthly benefits for the disabled dependents in the family. And yes, a variety of family members can qualify for the Social Security for disabled dependents. It is worth noting, however, that only certain family members are able to meet SSA’s eligibility rules as well as the rules that significantly govern who acquire benefits and how much they are going to receive. It is a bit complex but it is quite understandable.
Social Security for Disabled Dependents
Basically, these dependents are those who qualify for your work record. They include your spouse, biological and adopted child, and legal ward just to name a few. In some cases, the SSA may deem a grandchild or stepchild eligible for SSD. For these individuals to meet the requirements of the SSA, they must be your legal dependent. Note: The SSA usually requires dependent to undergo certain processes just to determine eligibility requirements of the said dependents. Either one or both parents in a family can qualify for SSDI and yet the entire family members get the benefits. Hence, it is called the auxiliary or dependent benefits. As for family members for a disabled worker who gets SSI or Supplemental Security Income, the SSA does not allow them to acquire auxiliary benefits otherwise stated.
Below are the eligibility requirements for Social Security for disabled dependents as per the SSA:
Spouse – your spouse can qualify for dependent benefits if he/she is able to meet at least one of the following:
- Must be 62 years old or older
- The caregiver of a child who is 16 years old or younger
- Either the husband or wife is the caregiver of a disabled child, regardless of the latter’s age
Children – your children can qualify for Social Security for disabled dependent benefits based on several factors, such as age, marital or student status, and whether or not they have also been a qualified disability. They can receive benefits under a variety of different conditions, such as:
- 18 years old or younger and unmarried
- 19 years old and full-time high school student but unmarried
- 18 years old or older and disabled, with a disability onset date prior to the 22nd birthday; unmarried
Grandchildren and Stepchildren – either of them can also receive dependent benefits through, but they should meet all of the following requirements:
- The child’s parents are either disabled or deceased
- He or she must be 18 years old or younger and lives with the SSDI account holder
- You have managed to financially fund at least half of his/her child’s support before your eligibility date or, if he/she is still under one year of age, you have already provided at least half of the financial support since birth.
Interestingly, disabled adult children may also qualify but this would be benefits on their own. The same thing can be said even if they are married. Ex-spouses, on the other hand, can still qualify under your work history record provided that you were married for at least 10 years or longer.
Amount of Family Disability Benefits
Each member of the disabled worker may receive up to half of the disabled worker’s monthly disability amount, but it should be not go beyond the family benefits the SSA deems maximum. By essence, it is around 150% of the disabled worker’s monthly benefit. Note that a divorced spouse’s benefits will not be counted toward the aforementioned total. The SSA will only see it acceptable if the said spouse is the one who takes care of the minor or disabled child of the disabled worker. This could be collecting a father’s or mother’s benefit.
Applying for Dependent Benefits
The SSA actually allows individuals to apply for dependent or auxiliary benefits (or both) right at the time they apply for disability. Of course, they still have the freedom to process application later or whenever they see it fit. They can apply via the SSA’s official site or at the local office directly. Either way, they will have to complete a number of forms in order to request spouse or child benefits. From there, an SSA representative will assist them, though they can always seek professional help from an attorney, relative, social worker, or Social Security advocate. To get more information, it is best to call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at (800) 772-1213. Remember that the applicant should provide his/her birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applying as a spouse), bank’s routing information (used for direct deposit), and Social Security number.
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Family members of a disabled worker are eligible for Social Security for Disabled Dependents benefits, but there are certain guidelines to follow