Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Can my Family be Eligible for Benefits Too?

If you have applied for Social Security disability benefits in San Francisco, it is possible that your family members could be eligible for benefits as well (note: this is only if you have been awarded Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB); those who have been awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cannot receive benefits for their family). Read below to find out whether you have any eligible family members for auxiliary benefits:

Children

It is possible for children to qualify for auxiliary benefits on your record. This can be your biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or a grandchild if he or she is dependent. Your child’s monthly benefits could be up to one-half of what you receive. There are a few requirements that Social Security has in place in order for your child to be eligible:

  • Your child must be unmarried;
  • Younger than age 18;
  • Between 18-19 years old but in elementary or secondary school full time;
  • A full-time student (no higher than 12th grade); or
  • Age 18 or older and severely disabled (in which the disability must have started before age 22).

Spouse

You can be eligible for up to one-half of your spouse’s benefit amount when you reach retirement age. Social Security states that “your spouse must file for benefits before you can begin receiving them on his or her record. If you begin to get Social Security retirement benefits before you reach full retirement age, the amount of your benefit will be reduced permanently.”

Divorced Spouse

A divorced spouse can receive benefits on their former spouse’s Social Security record, with certain requirements:

  • The former spouse must be at least 62 years old;
  • He or she must be unmarried;
  • He or she must have been married to the former spouse for at least 10 years;
  • He or she cannot be entitled to a higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record; and
  • He or she must be entitled to receive his or her own retirement or disability benefits.

Generally, Social Security cannot pay benefits to the former spouse if he or she remarries someone else.

Other

Social Security does have a limit on the amount of benefits that can be paid monthly on a claimant’s record. To find out more regarding this and auxiliary benefits, you can visit www.ssa.gov.

Disability Group, Inc. was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve. For more information about Social Security, or to see if you qualify for benefits, visit us at www.socialsecuritylaw.com.

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