It is common for people to misunderstand the rules for Social Security disability benefits and fail to apply for certain options that they are entitled to, even after they have been deemed as disabled and are getting benefits. For people in Missouri who seek and are approved for SSD benefits, one of the questions they might forget to ask is whether relatives can also get benefits based on the recipient’s record. The answer is yes. There are important points to remember.

If a qualified family member seeks benefits, they will provide their birth certificates and Social Security numbers to the Social Security Administration. If it is a spouse seeking benefits, it is likely that the SSA will want a proof of marriage and other information related to the union and its validity. There is a maximum amount that a family member can receive. It is up to 50 percent of the disabled person’s disability rate.

There is a limit to what can be paid. It is contingent on the benefit amount and how many family members are counted on the record. The general total a family can get overall is 150 to 180 percent of the disability rate. There will be a proportional reduction if it surpasses that and the person getting SSD benefits will not lose any amount he or she is owed. For spouses, the benefits are available if they are 62 or older unless he or she is collecting a higher benefit from the earnings record. It is also available for those of any age if he or she is caring for the disabled person’s child under age 16 or is disabled and getting benefits.

People who are approved for SSD benefits should know that their family members might also be able to get benefits as well. Contacting a legal professional can provide advice and assistance with getting all the Social Security disability benefits that are available.

Source: ssa.gov, “Disability Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse,” accessed on Aug. 22, 2017