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Can family members share in SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Social Security Disability |

When you have a disability and apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about the process and benefits. You may also wonder whether the benefits are restricted to you or if your family members can also share in the benefits. The answer is, yes they can, under some circumstances.

Spouses

Regardless of their age, your spouse can receive SSDI benefits in conjunction with you if they are a caretaker for your children. If the child is under the age of 16, or if the child suffered their own disability before the age of 22, your spouse will qualify.

Additionally, your spouse can draw benefits once they turn 62. However, since SSDI is based on work history, if your spouse has their own work history, it can affect the benefit amount they receive based on yours. Ex-spouses can also receive benefits based on your work history but it will not affect the amount you and your family are eligible for.

Children

Any of your children under 18 can receive SSDI benefits from your account. If the child is between 18 and 19, but still in high school, they remain eligible. Disabled children can draw benefits regardless of their age, so long as the disability started before age 22.

Each family member is eligible to receive a benefit equal to a maximum of 50% of your benefit. However, there is a cap to the total benefit you and your family can receive. Usually, the cap is somewhere between 150% and 180% of your benefit. The amount of your benefit and the number of eligible family members determines the cap.