Many people who are considering, applying for, or receiving Social Security Disability benefits are unaware that other members of their family may also qualify for SSD benefits based on the recipient’s work record. Because the amount of monthly SSD benefits are often significantly less than a recipient’s former monthly income, these additional amounts paid to family members can be of significant help to a family who is struggling to make ends meet.
There are specific qualifications that family members must meet in order to qualify for SSD coverage. A spouse may receive benefits if he or she is 62 years of age or older, or if he or she is caring for a child of the recipient who is either disabled or under the age of 16.
A child of the recipient, either biological or adopted, may receive benefits if he or she is unmarried and under the age of 18 (or under the age of 19 if he or she is still attending high school full-time). In some cases, a stepchild or grandchild may also receive benefits.
Children over the age of 18 may also qualify for benefits if he or she has an illness or disability that began before the child turned 22. That ailment must meet the definition of disability used by the Social Security Administration to determine whether an adult is disabled.
In addition, a former spouse of the recipient may qualify for benefits if he or she is at least 62 years old, unmarried, and was married to the recipient for at least 10 years. The former spouse may not be eligible for a higher SSD benefit on another Social Security record.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Can my family get benefits?“