If the Social Security Administration determines that you qualify for disability, social security benefits may also be available for certain members of your family, such as your spouse or children.

Spouses and Ex-Spouses May Receive Social Security Benefits (SSDI), Under Certain Circumstances

The spouse of a person qualified to receive disability can receive social security benefits if the spouse is age 62 or older. However, the spouse will not receive any greater amount of benefits if they are already collecting a higher Social Security benefit based on their earnings record. The spouse’s benefit amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to his or her full retirement age.

A divorced spouse can also receive social security benefits under a qualified person’s earnings record, even if the qualified spouse remarried. In this situation, the former couple needs to have been married for at least 10 years, the ex-spouse needs to be at least 62-years old, be unmarried, and not be eligible for an equal or higher social security benefit on his or her own Social Security record, or on someone else’s Social Security record. The amount of social security benefits payable to a divorced spouse has no effect on the amount of benefits the person qualifying for disability or their current spouse may receive.

Social Security Benefits for Children

In addition, if a person qualifies for disability benefits and has a child under age 16 that their spouse is caring for, the spouse may receive benefits until the child reaches the age of 16. Thereafter, the child’s social security benefits would continue, but the spouse’s benefits would cease unless they are old enough to receive retirement benefits (age 62 or older) or survivor benefits as a widow or widower (age 60).

Children of a person qualified for social security disability benefits may also qualify to receive social security disability benefits based on the qualified person’s earnings record. Biological children, adopted children, stepchildren, and dependent grandchildren may qualify social security benefits. Children may receive social security benefits if they are under age 18. In addition, children may receive social security benefits if they are full-time students (no higher than grade 12) and age 18-19 years old. Children may receive social security benefits if they are 18 or older, meet the definition of disability for adults, and have a disability that predates their reaching age 22. Generally, children stop receiving social security benefits at age 18 unless they themselves are determined to be disabled.


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There Are Limits, However

Each family member meeting the requirements listed above may be eligible for a monthly social security benefit of up to 50 percent of the monthly social security disability benefit amount the qualified recipient is able to receive. That said, there is a limit on the total amount payable to a family. The total amount depends on the qualified recipient’s social security disability benefit amount and the number of family members who also qualify under the recipient’s earnings record. Social Security provides an estimate that generally a qualified recipient and their family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of the recipient’s own disability benefit.

If the sum of the benefits payable on the qualified person’s account exceeds the family limit, the benefits to the family members will be reduced proportionately. However, the qualified person’s account is not affected.

About Citizens Disability, LLC:

Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call (800)492-3260.