Social security disability benefits for dependents

Hand of senior on a wheelchair wheel

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can pay benefits to family members of a disabled person who is unable to work. Spouses, children, and even ex-spouses of someone receiving SSDI benefits may be eligible for their own monthly payments. Each eligible family member could receive up to 50% of the amount the disabled beneficiary receives. However, the total payments made to the whole family generally cannot exceed 150% of the disability benefit. Consider working with a financial advisor when developing or modifying an estate plan.

Basics of SSDI

SSDI is for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes on the wages they earned, but who became disabled before reaching age 62, when they can start receiving benefits. regular social security benefits. The amount of the monthly benefit to which they are entitled varies according to their work and income.

The SSDI benefit amount also occasionally increases to compensate for inflation. As of October 2021, the average monthly benefit was $ 1,282.37, according to the Social Security Administration.

SSDI is only for workers with disabilities, which is defined as a condition that will last at least 12 months or end with the person’s death. The condition should also prevent the person from working. Many medical conditions may be eligible, but the government is generally strict about granting eligibility for disability benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another federal program that can provide monthly payments to people with disabilities. Unlike SSDI, a person with a disability does not need an income record to receive SSI benefits. And children and adults can receive SSI payments. However, SSI beneficiaries should have low incomes and few assets. In addition, SSI benefits for 2022 are capped at $ 841 per month for one person and no more than $ 1,261 if that person also has an eligible spouse.

Eligible family members

Once a person has qualified to receive SSDI payments, their family members may also be able to obtain benefits. Potentially eligible family members include:

  • A spouse, if they are 62 years of age or older

  • A spouse of any age who is caring for a disabled child or one under the age of 16

  • One of your children who is under 18, or under 19, and attending high school, including adopted children and sometimes stepchildren and grandchildren

  • An unmarried child 18 years of age or older who has a qualifying disability that began before the age of 22

Your ex-spouse may also be able to receive payments if you are receiving SSDI benefits. Any SSDI payment to a former spouse will have no effect on your SSDI benefits. And not all ex-spouses can get them. The divorced spouse must:

How much they can get

Three primary school girls

Three primary school girls

Each family member of a person receiving SSDI benefits may be eligible for a separate monthly payment equal to 50% of the amount of the disability benefit. So, assuming that a person with a disability receives the average amount of $ 1,282.37 in 2021, that person’s child under 18 could receive $ 641.18 each month.

This can change, however, if a person with a disability has more than one family member who qualifies to receive SSDI. This is because the Social Security Administration has a cap on the total SSDI benefits a family can receive. This ceiling is generally 150% of the disabled person’s monthly SSDI benefit. However, it can go up to 180% under certain circumstances.

If a family’s total SSDI benefits exceed the maximum percentage, Social Security will reduce each person’s payment to keep the total below the ceiling. The reductions are applied in proportion to the performance of each to fall below the ceiling, except that the disabled parent’s benefit is not reduced. This will reduce each family member’s benefit below 50% of the disabled parent’s benefit.

There is a special rule for the benefits available to a child whose disabled parent dies while receiving SSDI. In this case, the child can receive up to 75% of the person’s basic Social Security benefits, subject to the family ceiling.

In addition, a disabled child can claim their own SSDI benefits even if they have no record of income. The same goes for a child of full age who becomes disabled before the age of 22.

Final result

SSDI request approved

SSDI request approved

SSDI can not only provide monthly financial assistance to workers who become disabled, but also pay benefits to their family members. Spouses and children are eligible to receive up to 50% of the monthly payment for parents with disabilities, which averages $ 1,282.37 in 2021. The amount that each family member can receive, however, can be varied. reduced if the total benefit paid to the family exceeds 150% of the amount of the disabled parent’s benefit. As a rule, you are not taxed on SSDI benefits.

Advice on estate planning

  • A financial advisor specializing in Social Security disability insurance can help you apply for benefits. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is best for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you reach your financial goals, start now.

  • Use this free social security calculator to quickly estimate what you’re entitled to.

Photo credit: © iStock.com / KLH49, © iStock.com / FatCamera, © iStock.com / KLH49

The post Social Security Disability Benefits for Dependents first appeared on the SmartAsset blog.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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