Can the Spouse of My Children Receive SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance, known as SSDI, is a program that provides benefits to people who are unable to work due to a disability. It’s designed for those with disabilities so severe they can’t make ends meet on their own.

Unfortunately, the process of applying for and receiving SSDI benefits isn’t always easy. Many people try to go through the application process alone without an attorney because they are afraid that having an attorney will be expensive.  This is a common myth, but the truth is the federal program will pay an attorney for you, to assist in the process. The decision to not have legal representation can make it a difficult and aggravating experience.  You want to be informed on how to successfully complete the application process, and have a lawyer who will make the argument for you why you need these benefits.

You need a social security lawyer on your side who knows how the system works and has experience getting claims approved quickly.

Father's and Mother's Benefit

If an insured worker is disabled or dies while receiving SSDI benefits, the spouse (or divorcing spouse) can receive benefits if they care for at least one disabled child (or both if the disabled child has reached age 22). These benefits are also known as “mother’s or father’s benefits.” For benefits for a divorcing spouse, the ten-year rule does not apply.

Social security payments may continue to be available to the spouse if the spouse continues to care for a child even after 16. To continue receiving Social Security disability benefits, you must inform Social Security that your spouse has parental control and responsibility for a child with a mental disability or that you care for a child who is physically disabled. Notice: A disability that occurred after age 22 must be documented if you provide care for a child with disabilities. See our article about father’s and mother’s benefits for more information.

If you receive benefits for caring for a child younger than 16 and you work, Social Security may reduce your benefits. This reduction happens if you earn more than a certain amount for the year. This limit is $18,960 ($1,580/month) for 2021. Your spousal benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn above this limit. This cap means that the benefit will be eliminated for high-earners. These specific benefits can be a little confusing so consulting with a social security lawyer is essential.

Spousal Disability Benefits

A spouse receives 50% of the primary insurance amount for the disabled worker (the amount of the spouse’s monthly SSDI check). However, if the spouse is receiving benefits simultaneously, the spouse’s benefit may be reduced. The spouse’s and children’s benefits cannot exceed the maximum family benefit. This cap is usually 150% of the monthly SSDI benefit for disabled workers. The maximum family benefit does not include benefits paid to spouses who are disabled or over 60. They will not affect the current spouse’s and child’s benefits. Benefits paid to a divorcing spouse receiving a father’s or mother’s benefit count towards the maximum family benefit.

The amount that a spouse or surviving divorcée spouse will receive depends on their age and whether they are taking care of the deceased worker’s children. The amount received varies from 75% to 100% of the monthly income of the deceased worker.

Additionally, if a Social Security worker is disabled and dies, the spouse who survived will be entitled to a death benefit of several hundred dollars. This payment applies if they were living together.

Find A Social Security Lawyer

The SSA will send an annual notice to you detailing your earnings and any taxes withheld from Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Contact a social security lawyer immediately if you find incorrect information or have difficulty calculating it. If you have questions about whether your income source might impact eligibility for SSDI benefits or if appeals are being filed after denial, a qualified social security lawyer can help. If you don’t have a social security lawyer, contact us, and we will help you find the closest social security lawyer near you.

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