SSDI Benefits For Family Members
You could use your SSDI benefits for a family member in your household. It is easily accomplished if you have the necessary information and documentation available. If you have worked long enough to have paid sufficient Social Security taxes, your family members may be eligible. If you do not qualify for SSDI with your work credits, you may be eligible for SSI, which is based on your financial situation.
If you are receiving SSDI, your family members may be able to receive benefits as well. This can include your:
- Disabled adult child
- Parent who was dependent on you
Including family members on your SSDI benefits can increase the payments by 150-180%. The process and qualifications depend on the person’s relation to you and if they have a disability. Each person will be eligible for up to 50% of your benefit payment. See https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/family.html for a list of what SSA considers a qualifying family and how they count families in their data.
For Your Spouse
Your spouse may get SSDI in two ways: they are older than 62, or they are caring for your child under 16, or your adult child who was disabled before 22. In the latter case, the SSA office will require some documents to attach your spouse to your case, but there are no further prerequisite qualifications.
If your spouse is over 62 and already gets their own SSDI benefits that pay more than yours, their payment will be permanently reduced. The reduction will be based on the months until your spouse reaches full retirement age.
Your spouse’s retirement benefits will always be paid before SSDI. However, if your spouse gets more benefits than yours, SSA will combine your benefits and give you the higher amount. It is possible that benefits your spouse accrued under work that Social Security does not cover could affect your SSDI payments.
If you are divorced, your ex-spouse may be eligible for benefits benefits based on your record with SSDI. To be eligible, your ex-spouse must meet four criteria:
- They were married to you for ten years or more
- They are at least 62 years old
- They are not married
- They are not eligible for benefits on someone else’s or their own record for benefits higher than yours.
For Your Children
For SSDI benefits, the State of Connecticut includes biological children, adopted children, stepchildren, and dependent grandchildren. Children are generally only able to get benefits if they are under 18, but there are some exceptions.
The first qualification for your child to get your benefits is that they must be unmarried. Secondly, they have to be one of three things:
- Under 18 years old
- 18-19 years old and a full-time high school student
- 18 years or older if they became disabled before the age of 22
If your child became disabled before the age of 22, they need to show that their disability lasted longer than 12 months and that their disability or the treatment causes them to be unable to work. The SSA also takes into account how their disability affects their functioning.
Your dependent grandchild might be eligible to be on your SSDI benefit record. If you adopted your grandchild, you only have to prove the criteria for adding your child to your case. However, to show that you should get benefits for your dependent grandchild, you must prove three things:
- The parents of your grandchild have died or become disabled.
- Your grandchild must have started living with you before they turned 18 years old.
- You provided your grandchild with at least half of their financial support the year before you became eligible for SSDI.
To add your child to your benefits record, contact your SSA office for the necessary documentation and paperwork.
If you are the parent of a person eligible for SSDI but has died, you could be eligible on their behalf. To be eligible, you must have depended significantly on them before their death. In addition, four things must be true:
- You have to be at least 62 years old
- You have not married since your child’s death
- You are not eligible for a higher social security amount on your own
- You were financially dependent on your child for at least a year before their death
Contact an Attorney and Begin Your Family Member Benefits Application Today
When you add a family member to your SSDI benefits, you will likely be asked to provide documentation like a birth certificate, marriage certificate, and/or social security number. Keep documents like these handy, even electronically if possible, as it will allow you to quickly distribute or upload them whenever they are needed. Contact a local attorney to learn more about family member SSDI benefits.