Who is Eligible for Benefits Under my Account?

Submitted by Deanna on

Who is eligible for benefits under my account and how do I get them benefits?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), then some members of your family may also be able to receive monthly benefits under your work record. Only certain family members meet Social Security Administration (SSA) eligibility rules, and the rules that govern who gets benefits and how much they receive are a bit complex, but here’s the gist of it.


The people who qualify under your work record may include your spouse, biological child, legal ward, adopted child, or in some cases a grandchild or stepchild. Each person deemed eligible on your work record or SSDI account must be your legal dependent and must meet other eligibility requirements:

  • Spouse – a spouse can qualify for dependent benefits if one of the follow is true:
    • He or she is 62 years old or older
    • Your spouse is the caregiver of a child who is under age 16
    • Your husband or wife is the caregiver of a disabled child, no matter how old the child may be
  • Children (including any legal ward, adopted child, or biological child) – children qualify for SSDI dependent benefits based on their age, marital status, student status, and whether or not they too have a qualified disability. Your child can receive benefits on your account under several different conditions. Specifically, a child must be:
    • 18 years old or younger and unmarried
    • 19 year old, unmarried, and still a full-time high school student
    • 18 or older, unmarried, and disabled, with a disability onset date before his or her 22nd birthday
  • Grandchildren and Stepchildren – your grandchildren or stepchildren can additionally receive dependent or auxiliary benefits through your SSDI account if all of the following are true:
    • The child’s parents are disabled or deceased
    • He or she is 18 year old or younger and lives with you
    • You financially funded at least half of the child’s support in the year prior to your disability eligibility date OR, if the child is under one year of age, you must have provided at least half of his or her financial support since birth

Notably, disabled adult children can also qualify for benefits on their own, even if they are married in some cases. Ex-spouses can additionally qualify under your work history record, if you were married for 10 years or longer.

How Much Dependents Receive

The SSA limits the total amount of dependent benefits available to a single family through SSDI. Each dependent can receive a monthly payment that is 50% of your own SSDI payment. The grand total that all your dependents receive on your record cannot exceed 150% to 180% of your monthly SSDI however. In other words, if you have several dependents who are eligible, the SSA will reduce the amount each dependent receives so total dependent benefits don’t exceed program limits.

Applying for Dependent Benefits

You can apply for dependent or auxiliary benefits at the same time that you apply for disability for yourself, though you can also submit dependent benefit applications later. Whether you apply online via the SSA’s website or at your local SSA office, you’ll need to complete additional forms to request spouse or child benefits. An SSA representative can assist you or you can get help from a Social Security advocate or attorney, social worker, or a friend or family member.

Blog comments

vicki (not verified)

If I get ssdi benefits now,

If I get ssdi benefits now, and in the future marry, will that spouse qualify to get spousal benefits off my record even though we weren't married at the time of my approval of ssdi benefits?

Sun, 02/21/2016 - 20:02 Permalink

In reply to by vicki (not verified)

Yes, he will. But this is

Yes, he will. But this is only possible if your spouse is over age 62, over age 50 and disabled, or sharing in the care of a child under age 16.

Thu, 03/24/2016 - 13:08 Permalink
shannon (not verified)

i've asked before and

i've asked before and haven't got a response yet. my question is about my neighbor. besided the fact she abuses and sell zanex and other prescription drugs, she collects ssi disablilty. about a year ago she inhereited a huge anount of money, along with her son and daughter. the keep it all in the daughters bank account , so they didn't have to report it. she didnt want to report it because she didnt want to lose her monthly check, her son has the sister hold it so he doesn't have to pay child support. wouldn't this be concidered fraud? and should i report it? please answer

Thu, 03/24/2016 - 11:23 Permalink

In reply to by shannon (not verified)

Hi Shannon,

Hi Shannon,
Yes, this could be fraud, but only if she is collecting SSI benefits. If she is on SSDI benefits, inheritances will not affect eligibility.

Thu, 03/24/2016 - 13:09 Permalink
peggy mae white (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

how much I get ssi and

how much I get ssi and disables surivou

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 01:56 Permalink

In reply to by peggy mae white (not verified)

Hi Peggy,

Hi Peggy,
I'm sorry for your loss!
The amount of your benefits will depend on the work history of the person for whom you are receiving the survivor's benefits, and also your age.
Regarding SSI, the benefit maximum for that is $733 dollars a month, though it may be less depending on any sources of income that you may have.

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 14:52 Permalink
Bridgette (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

Shannon is correct. I called

Shannon is correct. I called to report I had won a lawsuit for a great deal. They said congratulations - as long as the income isn't "earned" income, we don't need to know about it.

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 02:10 Permalink

In reply to by Bridgette (not verified)

Hi Bridgette,

Hi Bridgette,
Thank you for sharing your experience! However, this only applies if you're getting SSDI, and it seems like you are.

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 10:07 Permalink
Angie (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

Why just on ssi and not on

Why just on ssi and not on ssdi ? Just wondering

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 09:14 Permalink

In reply to by Angie (not verified)

Hi Angie,

Hi Angie,

Both SSI and SSDI I have the same medical requirements. But SSI has an income limit while SSDI does not, but you need to have a specific amount of work credits. This is why some qualify for one and not the other.

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 15:57 Permalink
Sherry (not verified)

expecting a baby and boy

expecting a baby and boy friend is on disability. he tells me that my child will get a check but the check has to be sent to him and he will be responsible to giving out the money. I'm not sure if that is true. I thought check would go to where the child resides. i'm not sure if he is telling me the truth and trying to keep any money due to child for himself

Mon, 03/28/2016 - 10:49 Permalink

In reply to by Sherry (not verified)

Hi Sherry,

Hi Sherry,
Your child will need someone to be their representative payee ( a trusted person to receive the money and make sure it goes towards what the child needs). It does not need to be your boyfriend, it could also be someone else. I would get in touch with the SSA if you'd like someone else to be the payee. Their number is 1-800-200-1213, or you can go to their website at www.ssa.gov.

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 14:48 Permalink
concerned mother (not verified)

i would like to know this.my

i would like to know this.my daughter was in a car accident when she was 18.she was ejected and paralyed from her mid chest down.she gets ssi this was in 2008.well her dad just got his ssi or disability started and sent a picture of the check.he has been in and out of prison his whole like for not paying child support.and i see a 1,100.00 chech picture from him to our other daughter.what do i need to do.

Sat, 04/02/2016 - 01:23 Permalink

In reply to by concerned mother (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
If she is paralyzed, she should definitely qualify for benefits medically. If her dad is on SSDI, not SSI, she could receive up to 50% of his payments. If he's only on SSI, she cannot receive anything. I would highly recommend calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213! They can help get your daughter benefits of her own.

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 16:39 Permalink
Marlene kersey (not verified)

My husband and I are on SSD.

My husband and I are on SSD. He gets $1227.00 I get $465.00. They told me that I don't get my full benefits because I am married to my husband of 23yrs. Plus my husband had a stroke last year. I am the one taking care of him. Would I qualify for spouse benifates or do we have to get a divorce?

Sat, 04/02/2016 - 10:48 Permalink

In reply to by Marlene kersey (not verified)

Hi Marlene,

Hi Marlene,
This sounds like a very strange situation! Are you on benefits under your own account, or under his account? You will not be able to get more benefits for taking care of him, but if you are age 50 or over, you could get up to 50% of his benefits.

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 16:40 Permalink
Cathy (not verified)

I have 2 children and one of

I have 2 children and one of my children will turn 19 does the younger son receive the older child's part

Sun, 04/10/2016 - 08:31 Permalink
Julie (not verified)


I recently took my 11 yr old Granddaughter in and have been caring for her for over 4 months now without any outside help. I am on SSD and don't get enough to take care of us both. Neither of her parents help pay for food, clothing or anything. Is she eligible to receive any assistance under my SSD case?

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 23:00 Permalink

In reply to by Julie (not verified)

Hi Julie,

Hi Julie,
She may not be eligible for benefits based off of your work record, to be eligible for benefits under your record their parents must be deceased or disabled, or you must legally adopt your granchild.

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 09:27 Permalink

In reply to by Julie (not verified)

Hi Julie,

Hi Julie,
She may not be eligible for benefits based off of your work record, to be eligible for benefits under your record their parents must be deceased or disabled, or you must legally adopt your granchild.

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 09:27 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Julie (not verified)

Check with Department of

Check with Department of Family and Children Services to see if any programs to help you. Also apply for FoodStamps to help with purchasing of food. Not sure where you are located but here in Georgia there are Church's, Organization's, & Community Groups that work with the local food banks that have food ministry which is once a month every month they set aside a date & will give away box of food to first come first served. Most of the places have it set up to where you never have to get out of your car. The only requirement is you must meet the set guide as far as how much money is allowed for income. Which pretty much everyone qualifies. You don't have to be disabled nor be out of work or anything of sorts. Just meet income requirements.

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:01 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
Thanks for sharing that! Those are some great resources for Georgia residents.

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 11:07 Permalink
Beth (not verified)

My husband lives in PA and I

My husband lives in PA and I live in Indiana. Our separate homes is job related. Am I able to receive money if we aren't in the same house or state?

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 13:50 Permalink
Virginia l Mag… (not verified)

Do i quality for social

Do i quality for social security disabilitie I am 60 years old and live by myself and no income Comming I have work since 1972 till now because I got hurt at my job I have a hernia Disco and fell on my right knee have a ball on my right knee have bad circulation on both legs have DVT don't see very good bad eyesight I fell down a lot I feel both of my feet burning on the back of my feet and legs and swollen

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 16:25 Permalink
Ardnas (not verified)

Judge approved me for both

Judge approved me for both ssdi and ssi but social security sent me a letter to sign saying I will except only social security so my money can be released as soon as possible my attorney said to sign it that it was what we wanted and I agree now how long to get my monthly payments and back pay

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 23:14 Permalink

In reply to by Ardnas (not verified)

Hi Ardnas,

Hi Ardnas,
It generally takes five months from the time of approval to get your first monthly disability check, and then four months after that first check to receive your back pay.

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 09:43 Permalink
Michelle (not verified)

I had been married for 28 yrs

I had been married for 28 yrs. Became disabled at work. I was divorced. I received SSDI 2 months after divorce. This money comes from me working. Ex is getting 25% a month of my SSDI. I am in poverty, 55 yrs old. I barely have money to survive. I go without food, heat etc. just to survive each month. He has been living in luxury. I have been told this is illegal for him to collect off my SSDI. Can I take him back to court to modify Divorce Decree? I cannot find a lawyer or lawyer volunteer to help me because no lawyer is able to answer my question. The state told me to call SS, SS told me to call the state I live in. HELP!

Sun, 04/24/2016 - 19:48 Permalink

In reply to by Michelle (not verified)

Hi Michelle,

Hi Michelle,
Your ex spouse may be entitled to those benefits, if those benefits are coming from the SSA. They would not affect the amount that you get from SSDI, those come as a separate benefit provided by the SSA.

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 13:55 Permalink
richard w dean (not verified)

when child support is taken

when child support is taken out of my check why when the child is 18 and not in school why don't you get back that money add to your check again.

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 12:56 Permalink

In reply to by richard w dean (not verified)

Hi Richard

Hi Richard
Child support being removed from your check may have something to do with your state's laws on child support and when you would be required to pay it.

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 13:32 Permalink
Jackie (not verified)

Question: My niece has two

Question: My niece has two kids by someone who receives SSI, are the kids eligible to receive benefits under this program? She resides FL and he has not paid child support?

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 18:52 Permalink

In reply to by Jackie (not verified)

Hi Jackie,

Hi Jackie,
Unfortunately, there are no child benefits extended to SSI beneficiaries.

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 11:52 Permalink
Tina (not verified)

Son in law, started receiving

Son in law, started receiving ssdi 6 months ago. Social Security state the spouse and step children would quality for benefits. In January he would have to add them to his case so they could receive a check. He was in the hospital in January for 6 weeks, on life support, but recovery. Return home for 5 days, then he passed away. He did not get a chance to add his family to his case. Is there any way they can get benefits. One child is disabled. Can she file a hardship case.

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 03:57 Permalink

In reply to by Tina (not verified)

Hi Tina,

Hi Tina,
I'm sorry to hear that! My thoughts go out to you and your family. Your son in law's children may be entitled to survivor's benefits based off his work record, at the very least.

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 09:04 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

My mother lost her husband

My mother lost her husband year before last in August the following year we buried my only brother whom resided with her in the end with his 3 daughters. The mother has always been in an out the relationship even when he and the girls resided w me a few months she lived else where but now she comes to my moms home for a day sometimes up to 3 days then disappears again. Due to the quickness of death from the seizures rapid inoperable growth caused by rare brain cancer (docs gave him 13mths cancer took him way sooner) he has never been married and prior to his death he was attempting to secure his girls future til she popped back up when he only had barely a few weeks left to live and contacted the attorneys I referred him to because I was being represented by them for cancer myself which I was the first diagnosed with cancer then my 4yr old nephew, sister then last my late brother. My sister was denied last year during g her 1st battle w cancer now recently diagnosed again now battling 2nd round w cancer which she currently resides w my mother as well has been since the night my mother's husband past so she wouldn't sit in a empty house an mourn herself I'll as we all felt would be the case no one but my mother works barely earning above minimum wage at a fairly new job that she was forced to take many days off to get my brother an sister back n forth to doc appts chemo an radiation surgeries and untimely emergency 911 calls during all hours to different hospitals no matter the lengthy distances. Being the only working adult in her home struggled to bury husband and son back to back fear losing her daughter whom has 5 kids of her own also residing in my mother's house totalling 8 kids can she qualify for some type of assistance. My brothers ex girl friend intervened the same way she pop back up into my brother's life and distrupted his benefits for her own personal gain stopped my mother from getting survivors benefits for his kids she told ssd they were married ssd told my mother since she is their mother the benefits are to be awarded to the exgirl friend for that reason alone regardless to whether or not married she is their mother. She asked no questions sought no further assistance an of course continues to work hard to support her large family to maintain the roof over everyone's head as she watches her life drasticly turn facing disconnects of all kinds despite her once quiet life w her late husband w cable cell phone house phone all gone in a blink she never complained now struggling w the other necessary and needed bills (utilities, mortgage, vehicle up keep an insurance) she still goes to work keeps quiet but now life is being drained from her it seems loss of appetite never smiles always appears fatigued and my sister is concerned for the bills being paid while she fights her second cancer battle. Is there help for her? Can't she get survivors benefits from her husband? Something? She's done an doing her best to care for everyone but not good enough an not being able to mourn her husband and son because burials were costly she wasn't prepared and hard to manage while working, taking care of home, fund raisers, school clothes, sister in out of hospital plus doc appts ect...I would hate to see her lose her home vehicle life will and hope. My boyfriend did much needed repair work on her home supplied parts himself but that's the most help she has ever received. What about OASSD? Anything??

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 16:05 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
your mother may be eligible for disability benefits if she's having trouble making ends meet due to a condition or disease that impedes her ability to work.

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 08:59 Permalink
Cora (not verified)

Hi- My sister is receiving

Hi- My sister is receiving benefits but she does not have custody of her kids. Her children all receive $98 each in dependent benefits. Their father has custody of the but for the past 9 months her oldest daughter (my niece) has been living with me. Since living with me her father has only given a total of $60 for her needs. She has not received any of her dependent benefits in the past 9 months....her father has but he has not give any of that to his daughter to take care of her needs. I have been told this is fraud and should report it. My niece is almost 17 and is well aware of these checks that come every month. What should I do?

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 22:18 Permalink

In reply to by Cora (not verified)

Hi Cora,

Hi Cora,
You may want to get in touch with your local SSA office, as they can re-assign the child's representative payee.

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 14:16 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Will do, thank you!

Will do, thank you!

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 20:45 Permalink
Joyce (not verified)

How do I find out who is

How do I find out who is receiving benefits under my SSDI? I am curious because I have learned that I previously had T2 and T16 Entitlements. Too, I believe that my ex-husband may be receiving benefits through me that he is not entitled to because we were only married for 2 years, have only one child together who is under my care, and because after our divorce, he was ordered to pay court cost and alimony, which I have yet to see. But SSA states that my son is receiving benefits under his fathers SSD, because he gets more under his account because he worked more and I know for a fact, that is not true.

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 01:12 Permalink
Travis W. (not verified)

I collect SSDI and my wife

I collect SSDI and my wife and son are eligible for auxilery benefits. When I go into the social security office, do I need to bring my wife in order to apply for auxilery benefits or can I go to the office alone? We have transportation conflicts that have been it difficult for us to go together.

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 09:45 Permalink

In reply to by Travis W. (not verified)

Hi Travis,

Hi Travis,

You should be able to go into the office alone without your wife. You will need to bring your marriage certificate to the meeting.

Best of Luck,

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 16:37 Permalink
Reggie (not verified)

I'm illegal but my child

I'm illegal but my child have seizures. But I take care of her can i get help with her.

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 22:20 Permalink
Cherylhill (not verified)

In reply to by Eric

Need help with adding my

Need help with adding my great grandson to my SS Benefits

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 17:31 Permalink

In reply to by Cherylhill (not verified)

Hi Cheryl,

Hi Cheryl,
You may want to contact the SSA regarding this, you can call them at 1-800-772-1213

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 09:10 Permalink

Add new comment

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!