Are family members eligible for benefits if you receive SSD?

Family members may be eligible for benefits if you receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

What are SSD Family Benefits?

When you start receiving disability benefits, certain members of your family may qualify for benefits based on your prior work, including your:

  • Spouse.
  • Divorced spouse.
  • Children.
  • Adult child disabled before age 22.

What is the Maximum Family Amount of SSD benefits?

Each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit of up to 50 percent of your disability benefit amount, subject to a family limit. Generally, the total you and your family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of your SSD benefit. Spouses can receive benefits if they are 62 or older, or at any age if they are caring for your child under age 16 or who was disabled before age 22, and they are entitled to benefits. If you have a divorced spouse who qualifies for benefits, it will not affect the amount of benefits you or your family may receive.

What if your spouse also worked under Social Security?

If your spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, SSA will always pay that amount first. If your spouse’s benefit that is payable on your record is a higher amount, they will get a combination of the two benefits that equals the higher amount. Pension benefits may impact the amount a spouse receives.

What benefits are available for your Children?

When you qualify for SSD benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify. To receive benefits, the child must:

  • Be unmarried.
  • Be under age 18; or
  • Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
  • Be 18 or older and disabled because of a disability that began before age 22.

Normally, benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.

Still Have Questions?

If you have more questions, give our office a call at (610) 446-3457, click here to send us an email, or fill out the form below.