Are benefits available for family members?




If you are receiving SSA disability benefits, family members may also be eligible for a monthly benefit of up to 50 percent of your benefit amount. Under Social Security Administration (SSA) rules, the total amount you and your family can generally receive is between 150 and 180 percent of your disability benefit.


Family members include a spouse, your children (including disabled children and adult children disabled before the age of 22) and a divorced spouse.


If your spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on his or her own record, SSA will always pay that amount first.  If the spouse benefit that is payable on your record is a higher amount, he or she will get a combination of benefits.


If your spouse has a pension based on work not covered by Social Security (such as government work) his or her Social Security benefit on your record may be affected.


An ex-spouse may qualify for benefits on your record. The amount of benefits you or your family receive is not affected if your divorced spouse qualifies for benefits. The marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and the ex-spouse must be at least 62 years old, and unmarried.


For your child to receive benefits, they must be unmarried and under age 18 (or 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12)).  Alternatively, they could be 18 or older and have a disability that started before age 22.  Usually, SS stops benefits when children turn age 18 (unless they are disabled).