Many people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are under the assumption that only the disabled worker is eligible to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration. This is not necessarily the case. In some cases, a disabled worker’s family members, such as their dependent children and their spouse, may be able to receive benefits as well. The benefits that are paid to family members are referred to as auxiliary benefits.
It is important to note that only family members of disabled workers who are entitled to receive SSDI may be eligible for auxiliary benefits. Family members of those who receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) are not eligible for auxiliary benefits from the Social Security Administration.
How much your family members receive each month in the form of SSDI auxiliary benefits or your Monthly Social Security Benefit Amount will depend on how much taxes you had paid into the Social Security program while you were employed.
If your spouse or your dependent children wish to qualify for auxiliary benefits when you qualify for Social Security Disability Income benefits, there are certain criteria that must be met. You can add them to your claim during the the intial stages of the application process, or even after your Social Security disability proceedings.
If your spouse wishes to qualify for auxiliary benefits, he or she must be under the age of 62 and must be the joint caregiver of children that you and your spouse have together and those children must be under the age of 16. If you and your spouse become divorced, your spouse may still be able to receive auxiliary benefits from your SSDI if you were married for at least ten years prior to your divorce.
If your children wish to qualify for auxiliary benefits, those dependent children must be under the age of 18, must be enrolled in school full time and must be unmarried. If the child is not one of your dependents or is over the age of 18 or not enrolled in school then the child will not be able to qualify for SSDI auxiliary benefits.