Social Security Disability:

Family Disability Benefits

When an individual receives social security disability benefits, certain family members may also be eligible for benefits on their record. Social security benefits may be paid to the following members of the disabled person’s family:

  • Spouse: Benefits are payable the disabled person’s spouse if he or she is age 62 or older and does not collect a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record. Benefits are also offered to the spouse if he or she is caring for a child under the age of 16 or a disabled child receiving Social Security disability benefits.

  • Divorced Spouse: A divorced spouse of a disabled worker may also be eligible for benefits. To qualify, the divorced spouse must have been married to the disabled individual for at least 10 years; be at least 62 years of age; be unmarried; and be ineligible for an equal or higher benefit on his or her own earnings records or on someone else’s record.

  • Children: Biological children, adopted children, stepchildren and, in some cases, dependent grandchildren may be eligible for social security benefits. To qualify, the child must be unmarried and under the age of 18 unless they are a full time student (up to grade 12) between the ages of 18 and 19 or a disabled adult, whose impairment began before age 22.

  • Disabled Children: Children with disabilities can receive benefits past the age of 18 as long as their impairment began before age 22 and they meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability for adults.

Each family member may receive a monthly benefit of up to half of the disabled individual’s rate. However, there is a limit to how much the family can receive. The limit depends on the amount of the disabled person’s benefits and the number of family members who are also eligible for benefits. In general, the total amount the family can receive is between 50% and 80% of the disabled individual’s benefits.

If you have been denied your family disability benefits or need assistance applying for benefits, our social security attorneys can help. Fill out our free case review form on the right to speak with a social security disability lawyer near you. Research shows that retaining an attorney to help with a social security case can improve your chances of having your claim approved. 

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