Can My Children or Grandchildren Receive My SSDI Benefits?
Many people who have sustained serious injuries or are suffering from debilitating illnesses still want to be able to provide for their children and their other dependents. For some people, dependents are their minor children or disabled adult children, and sometimes grandchildren are also dependents. If you are planning to file for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), or if you are currently receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you may want to know if these kinds of benefits, known as “auxiliary benefits,” are available to your dependents. It will depend on the circumstances. We want to provide you with more information about auxiliary benefits and how they work.
Understanding Auxiliary Benefits
According to the SSA, auxiliary benefits are “additional monthly benefits” that “may be payable to other family members on your earnings record if you are entitled to disabled worker’s benefits.” Different family members can be eligible to receive auxiliary benefits based on the family member’s age and status.
When a Child Can Receive SSD Benefits
SSD benefits can be paid to minor children and to adult children in certain circumstances. A minor child can be eligible to receive disability benefits as a dependent of the parent who is receiving SSD benefits. The minor child will be able to qualify for benefits based on the work record of the disabled parent. In other words, if the disabled parent’s work record allows him or her to receive SSD benefits, then the minor child or children can also receive those benefits. In some situations where a stepchild is the dependent of the disabled parent, the stepchild can also be eligible to receive SSD benefits based on the stepparent’s work record.
Adult children also may be able to obtain SSD benefits in some circumstances. When an adult child is aged either 18 or 19 and is a full-time high school student, that adult child can be eligible to receive benefits much like a minor child who is a dependent. In order to receive benefits, the child must be unmarried. Once the child graduates from high school, that child will no longer be eligible to receive benefits unless the child becomes disabled. Adult children who are disabled are also eligible to receive benefits through the disabled parent if the adult child became disabled prior to turning 22 years old. Adult children who become disabled—even if they rely on the disabled parent for support—cannot obtain auxiliary benefits from the parent unless the child’s disability started before the age of 22.
Can Grandchildren Receive SSD Benefits?
Many grandparents are responsible for raising their grandchildren. When a grandparent becomes disabled and is eligible to receive SSD benefits, can the minor grandchild obtain SSD benefits similar to a dependent minor child? For a grandchild to receive auxiliary benefits, the following must be true:
- The grandchild has been living with the grandparent prior to turning 18 years old;
- The grandchild received 50 percent or more of his or her support (financial) from the grandparent before the grandparent became disabled; and
- The grandchild’s parents are either deceased or disabled.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Lawyer for Assistance
Auxiliary benefits can be complicated, but they are critical for SSD benefit recipients who are responsible for providing care to children and grandchildren. An experienced national Social Security disability lawyer can help you with your case. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz to learn more about how we can assist you.