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Can family members qualify for disability benefits?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | Social Security Disability

mother rolling wheelchair with disabled father in park with their son

When it comes to Social Security Disability benefits, many individuals wonder if their family members can also qualify for support.

The answer is yes, certain family members may be eligible to receive benefits based on a disabled worker’s record. Understanding the eligibility criteria for these family members is important to navigate the complex Social Security system.

Spousal support

A spouse of a disabled worker can potentially receive benefits if they meet specific requirements. To qualify, the spouse must be at least 62 years old or taking care of the worker’s child who is under the age of 16 or disabled. The benefit amount for a spouse is typically up to half of the disabled worker’s benefit.

Dependent children

Dependent children of a disabled worker may also be eligible for benefits. This includes biological children, adopted children and stepchildren. To qualify, a child must be single and under the age of 18, or up to 19 if they are still attending high school full-time.

Adult children with disabilities

Adult children who became disabled before the age of 22 and are dependent on a disabled worker’s benefits may continue to receive benefits into adulthood. This provision ensures ongoing support for those with disabilities who are unable to work.

Divorced spouses

Even if divorced, a former spouse may be eligible for benefits if the marriage to the disabled worker lasted at least 10 years. They must also currently be single and meet age requirements. These benefits do not impact the primary disabled worker’s benefits or those of their current spouse, if applicable.

More than 9 million people rely on disability benefits. Understanding these criteria is vital for individuals seeking support for their loved ones.