A spouse, divorced spouse, children, and adult disabled child (before they turn 22) are all potentially eligible for benefits based on your disability.
Each of them may receive up to 50% of your disability amount per month. The maximum that can be paid out for all family members is 180% of your benefits.
For a spouse to get benefits, they must be 62 years old (unless they are eligible for a greater amount on their own record) or they must be any age but caring for a disabled child under 16 years old. Their amount can be reduced if they receive a pension or did government work not covered by Social Security.
For a former spouse, they must be 62, married to you for at least 10 years, and NOT have remarried.
For children, they can be biological, adopted, or stepchildren. They must be unmarried and under 18 OR 18-19 and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12) OR 18+ and disabled themselves before 22 years old. Benefits will typically stop when your child(ren) turn 18 unless they are also disabled.
For a disabled adult child (DAC) must be 18+, unmarried, and have their own disability that started before they were 22 years old. They can be a stepchild, grandchild, or step-grandchild as well as your own biological/stepchild/adopted child. The benefits are paid on the parent’s social security record. The DAC doesn’t have to have ever worked and cannot earn substantial earnings through their own work activity.