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Can family members receive Social Security disability benefits?

Not being able to work can cause numerous setbacks in any person’s life. When the inability is caused by a disabling condition, it can come as a great relief when the individual qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. SSDI can provide financial assistance to those who receive an approval after applying, but it may be possible for the person’s spouse and children to obtain benefits as well. 

When family members receive SSDI benefits in relation to a disabled individual, those benefits are referred to as auxiliary or family benefits. These benefits come as monthly payments that can be a maximum of 50% of the SSDI beneficiary’s primary insurance amount, which is the amount the beneficiary collects from the Social Security Administration each month. It is important to note that the SSA does put a limit on how much one family can receive. 

When it comes to reducing benefits to meet the maximum amount, the following details are important: 

  • Each family member is eligible for up to 50% of the monthly amount paid to the primary beneficiary. 
  • If the benefits paid to the family members would exceed the monthly maximum, the SSA reduces the amount that each family member could receive. 
  • The primary beneficiary’s benefits are not reduced in the event that family benefits would result in an amount over the capped limit. 

Though receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be a lifesaver, the amount that individuals and their families qualify for can be confusing. As a result, it is often helpful to have assistance when it comes to fully understanding SSDI benefits. In the event that parties believe that something has gone amiss with their benefits, it may be useful to work with legal professionals experienced in this area. 

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