If I Get Social Security Disability Benefits, Can My Family Receive Benefits As Well?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Once you have been approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you may be wondering whether your family can receive benefits as well. These benefits can provide important support to those potentially facing very difficult financial circumstances. Here, we will explain the rights of your family members to receive benefits as well

If I Get Social Security Disability Benefits, Can My Family Receive Benefits As Well?

After you begin receiving disability benefits, your family may be eligible for benefits as well. In fact, family members that may qualify for benefits include:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Children
  • Disabled children
  • Adult disabled children under the age of 22

In fact, qualifying family members are able to collect monthly benefits equal to up to one-half of the number of your monthly benefits. Should you have one or more family members eligible for disability benefits, be mindful of the fact that the total amount paid to your family in benefits is subject to limits. While each eligible family member may receive a monthly benefit of up to 50% of what your disability benefit amount is, there is still a total limit that will apply. The total limit will vary, but, in general, it cannot exceed more than 150% to 180% of the benefits that you yourself receive. Should the sum of the benefits payable on your account exceed the family limit, your family members’ benefits will be proportionately reduced while your benefits will remain unchanged.

If your spouse is over 62 years of age or is caring for a child under the age of 16, he or she is eligible to receive benefits. This is true unless he or she collects higher Social Security benefits pursuant to his or her own earnings record. Additionally, your spouse will be eligible for benefits if he or she is tasked with caring for a child with disabilities, regardless of the age of the child.

If your children, including adopted children, are under the age of 18 and are unmarried, they may also qualify for benefits. If your child is older than 18 and unmarried, but he or she became disabled prior to turning 22 years of age, then he or she may also be eligible for disability benefits.

Should you have any family members who qualify for benefits, they will need to provide their Social Security Numbers as well as dates of prior marriages, if any. When you file your initial application for disability benefits, that it the best time to try and access benefits for your eligible family members. This will minimize delays in processing times.

Disability Attorney

Talk to the trusted advisors at Disability Advocates about your Social Security disability benefits and what benefits may be available to your family members. We understand that these benefits provide critical support to those in need are here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.