Social Security disability sometimes allows additional benefits for family members of a person who is already receiving them. Those family members include:
  • Your spouse
  • Your divorced spouse
  • Your children
  • Your disabled child

While each dependent will not get as much as you do, each qualifying family member may receive up to 50% of your benefit. It all depends on how many qualify on your plan and the total of your benefit. Overall, though, the total one family can receive is from 150 to 180%. In every case, qualified family members must provide Social Security numbers and birth certificates.

Let's look at each of the above cases individually:

Your spouse may receive benefits if:

  • Aged 62 or older, unless he or she is collecting a higher social security retirement benefit. 
  • At any age, if he or she cares for your child under age 16.
  • If your spouse also worked under Social Security and is eligible for retirement benefits, he or she will get the difference if your amount is higher.

Your divorced spouse may receive benefits if he or she:

  • Was married to you for ten or more years.
  • Is 62 or older.
  • Is unmarried; and,
  • Is not eligible for an equal or higher benefit on another record.

Your child may receive benefits if he or she is:

  • Under age 18; or
  • 18 -19 years of age and a full time student up to grade 12; or
  • 18 or older and have a disability that started before the age of 22.

Your disabled children will receive benefits up to age 18 on your record, but when they pass this age:

  • His or her disability must have started before age 22 and;
  • He or she must meet the same definition of disability as adults.

This is the most basic way to look at it. However, like most government agencies, the Social Security Administration's rules include many exceptions and qualifications.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer