The inability to work due to a disability affects the entire family. However, some of your family members can apply for benefits based on your Social Security work record:
- Your spouse
- A divorced spouse
- Disabled children
- Unmarried adult children, as long as their disability began prior to age 22
No matter how many dependents receive benefits based on your record, your benefits are not reduced in any way. However, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA) Disability Planner for Family Benefits, while each family member may be eligible for up to 50 percent of your benefits each month, the value of each dependent’s benefit is subject to an overall family maximum.
The family maximum calculations can become a bit confusing, but an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help you understand what to expect. Depending on your benefit amount, you and your family can generally receive a maximum value of 150 to 180 percent of your benefit. While you always get your full benefit, your family members are not guaranteed the full 50 percent. So, if you have many family members who qualify for benefits, they proportionately share the balance of the available benefits. One notable exception to this rule is that benefits available to a divorced spouse do not reduce the value of the benefits you and your family can receive.
After paying into Social Security during many years at work, you deserve to take advantage of all benefits available to you and your family. When you enlist the assistance of a knowledgeable Social Security Disability lawyer, you help ensure that the application process is handled accurately and efficiently and that you secure the benefits you deserve.