Wednesday, September 02, 2009

If You get Disability Benefits, will Your Dependents get a Check?

The following question was left by XZillR8:

Hi, I just sent you a question but forgot to ask one more. If my husband gets a disability check, will other members of the family (i.e. spouse, dependents) get one too? If so, is that automatically determined by SSA or does that have to be requested by us?


If your husband is approved for Social Security disability benefits, there may be some money available for dependents (i.e. spouse and children). However, there is no guarantee that there will be any money left for dependents after your husband's disability benefit is paid.

Social Security bases an individual's amount upon their earnings. They set an amount that is payable to the disabled individual known the PIA (primary insurance amount) and a FMAX (family maximum) that is a total amount payable on the disabled person's record.

If the PIA and the FMAX are the same amount, then there is no money payable to dependents. Generally, this occurs if an individual has not earned that much prior to becoming disabled. However, if there is additional money payable after paying the disabled individual it will be amongst his dependents.

Without becoming too technical, dependents are each entitled to half of what the disabled individual's PIA is if there is enough remaining money on the record. If Social Security cannot pay everyone half of the PIA amount, they will divide the remaining money on the record equally.

If you apply for spouse with children in care benefits, your benefits would be affected by your yearly earnings and they would end when your youngest child reaches the age of sixteen. Dependent children's benefits terminate when the child is 18 or 19 if they are still in high school.

If your husband is approved for disability benefits you will have to file a claim for you and/or your children. Social Security should contact you to file claims for you and/or your children, however that could take some time.

If you do not hear from Social Security within a reasonable amount of time, you should call your local office a schedule an appointment to file for your benefits.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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Social Security Disability Requirements and Eligibility Criteria
How Does Social Security Evaluate Fibromyalgia Claims?
Filing for Disability - Tips for Filing a Disability Appeal
Social Security Disability Requirements



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