Social Security Disability Benefits for Family Members

Certain family members of those who receive Social Security Disability (SSD) payments may be able to obtain benefits as well. These benefits can play a vital role in helping a family to survive.

The attorneys of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., have a long record of helping disabled workers and their families to obtain disability benefits they deserve in Spartanburg, Greenville and across Upstate South Carolina. We can help you, too. Contact us today to receive a free consultation about your case.

Is Your Family Eligible for SSD Payments?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays disability benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

The Social Security Disability program also provides money to the following family members of disabled workers:

  • Spouse who is 62 years old or older (unless he or she collects a higher Social Security benefit based on his or her earnings record)
  • Spouse of any age (if he or she is caring for the disabled worker’s child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits).
  • Children up to age 18 or (or age 19 if the child is a full-time student and unmarried)
  • Disabled child
  • Adult child who became disabled before age 22.

Minor-age grandchildren may also qualify for SSD benefits if their parents are deceased and the primary SSD recipient supports them.

Each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit of up to 50 percent of the disabled worker’s disability rate. The total amount the entire family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of the worker’s disability benefit. If the total benefit would exceed the limit if paid at 50 percent to each family member, the family members’ benefits would be reduced accordingly. The disabled worker’s SSD payment would not be impacted.

A divorced spouse who was married to a disabled worker for 10 years or more and who is age 62 or older and unmarried may also be eligible for SSD benefits through the former spouse. This does not affect payments to other family members or the disabled worker.

A disabled worker applying for family member benefits based on his or her Social Security earnings must provide:

  • Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for benefits; and
  • Proof of marriage, if a spouse is seeking benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages if applicable.

We Can Seek SSD Benefits for Family Members

Adding eligible family members to your SSD application for benefits makes you case more complicated and can result in problems that may to lead to a denial. The denial may be due to incorrect or missing information, conflicting information or a misinterpretation of accurate information.

You will be notified by letter of the SSA’s decision in your case. If you or a family member has been denied benefits, you will be given an opportunity to appeal. Your appeal could go through as many as four stages:

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
  • Appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council
  • Filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

It will be important to work with an attorney who can help you to submit an accurate and complete application that accounts for your family members and / or assist you with appealing a denied benefits claim. Throughout the process, your attorney should answer your questions, make sure your case has updated evidence and is presented persuasively to those deciding your application.

Contact a Spartanburg SSD Benefits Lawyer Today

At Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., our lawyers understand that the amount of benefits an individual SSD recipient receives may fall well short of providing for an entire family, which makes SSD benefits for family members crucial for a family’s survival. We will work hard to seek these benefits in your case just as we have done for many years for families throughout Spartanburg, Greenville and the Upstate.  Simply contact us today to get started.

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