A disability can affect your entire family as the household income drops, making finances tight. Social Security offers a solution for families. After you apply for Social Security Disability and begin receiving benefits, some of the members of your family may also qualify on your record. According to Social Security’s website, each family member may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit of up to 50 percent of your disability rate.

There is a limit as to the total amount of money that can be paid to your family members on your Social Security record. The limit ranges, but will be anywhere from 150 to 180 percent of your disability benefit. Social Security will review the amount of benefits payable on your account and if this amount is higher than the family limit, your family members’ benefits will be reduced. However, your benefit will remain unchanged.

If your family members apply for benefits with you, they will be required to provide their Social Security numbers and birth certificates. If your spouse is applying for benefits, he or she may have to include proof of marriage and if applicable, dates of previous marriages.

The following is a description of family members who can apply for Social Security disability benefits on your record.

Spouse: There are two circumstances in which your spouse can apply for family benefits – if he or she is 62 or older or any age if he or she is caring for your child. If your spouse is at least 62 years old, he or she may qualify for family benefits unless your spouse is able to collect a higher Social Security benefit based on his or her earnings record. Your spouse can also qualify if he or she is caring for your child who is under 16 years of age or disabled. The family benefits will be available until the child turns 16.

Divorced Spouse: If you are divorced, your ex-spouse may still qualify for family benefits on your record, even if you have re-married. Your ex-spouse must have been married to you for at least 10 years, be at least 62 years old, unmarried and not eligible for an equal or higher Social Security benefit on his or her own record.

Children: To be eligible, your child must be biological, adopted or a stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify for benefits on your record. The child must be unmarried, under the age of 18, a full-time student (if between 18-19 years old) or be disabled (if over the age of 18, with a disability that started before age 22).

Social Security disability income and family benefits can greatly reduce the financial strain placed on your family. Applying for family benefits through Social Security can be complex and often applications are denied. David Benenfeld is an experienced Florida Social Security disability insurance attorney who can help you navigate through the system and receive the benefits you deserve. Contact us today by calling (954) 677-0155 or [number type=”1″] for advice regarding family benefits.