When a family member has a disability, the entire family is affected. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes this family-wide impact by providing Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits not only for qualified disabled individuals but also for qualifying family members.
Just as an experienced attorney can help you navigate the process of receiving benefits more quickly, your attorney can also help members of your family seek the benefits they deserve. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact Orlando Social Security Disability Lawyer, Frank M. Eidson, for help understanding your family’s access to SSD benefits in Orlando, Winter Park and elsewhere in Florida.
Which Family Members Can Receive SSD Benefits?
If you have a work record, certain family members can qualify for benefits based on your work record. These family members include:
- Divorced spouse who has not remarried,
- Minor Child,
- Disabled child
- Adult child who was disabled before age 22.
In addition to the information you supply to the SSA about your own disability, you will need to provide basic information about family members who may qualify for benefits. This information includes the Social Security numbers of family members as well as birth certificates for children and marriage certificates for a spouse.
When Can A Spouse or Former Spouse Receive Benefits?
Your current spouse may receive benefits based on your work record if he or she is age 62 or older unless your spouse already collects a higher Social Security benefit based on his or her own work record.
Your current spouse can also receive benefits at any age if your spouse is either caring for your child, who is either under age 16 or is disabled. Your spouse will receive benefits until the child is 16. At that time, your spouse’s benefits based on your work record will stop, but the child’s benefits will continue. Your spouse may receive retirement benefits or survivor benefits regardless of your child’s age.
A former spouse may receive benefits on your work record if you were married at least 10 years and your spouse is at least 62 years old, has not remarried and is not eligible for a higher benefit based on anyone else’s Social Security record, including his or her own.
When Can a Child Receive Benefits?
Benefits for non-disabled children are available if the child is unmarried and:
- Under age 18, or
- 18-19 years old and a full-time high school or GED student.
Each child who qualifies may receive a benefit payment up to one-half of the amount you receive. However, the family as a whole can only receive benefits up to a certain dollar amount, which changes each year.
Benefits for disabled children may be paid in the child’s own name, based on his or her own disability. Benefits for disabled children can also be paid based on your work record.
If benefits are based on your work record, the SSA will not consider whether or not the child also qualifies as “disabled” under SSA rules. However, in order for the benefits to continue after the child turns 18, both of these conditions must be met:
- The disabling condition must start before age 22, and
- The adult child must meet the definition of disability for adults.
Let Us Help You Secure Peace of Mind for Yourself and Your Family
The law firm of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., is dedicated to helping disabled individuals and their families secure the peace of mind and financial support they need in a tough time.Contact our office today to learn more.