If you are eligible for disability benefits and are already collecting monthly payments, your spouse may also be eligible for dependents benefits. However, it is important to note that these benefits are only available to recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but not Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
There are also a few requirements that must be met in order for your spouse to receive benefits.
Spousal Benefits Eligibility
In order for your spouse to receive benefits based on your earnings, the following requirements must be met.
Your spouse must be 62 years or older. Unless your spouse is able to collect a higher benefit amount based on their own record, your spouse will be able to earn a monthly benefit.
If your spouse has not yet reached retirement age, an early retirement penalty will lower the amount of the benefit received. That deduction, however, does not apply to those caring for a child under the age of 16 or who is disabled.
Caring for a minor child. If your spouse is caring for your child who is under the age of 16, he or she will be eligible for benefits.
If your spouse is working while receiving benefits for caring for your child, there will be a monthly deduction in the amount of the spousal benefit. The amount will be reduced by one dollar for every two dollars earned over the stated limit. This can allow the benefit to be reduced to zero.
Caring for a disabled child. If your spouse is caring for your child who is disabled, he or she can still receive spousal benefits even if the child is over 16-years-old.
Your spouse must have parental control of the mental and physical well-being of the child in order to be eligible for benefits. If the child is older than 22, the disability must have occurred before age 22 to qualify.
Amount of Benefits
If your spouse meets the above requirements, he or she should be eligible for spousal benefits. The amount paid will be 50 percent of your monthly benefit amount, so long as the total amount of benefits received by your family members does not exceed a family maximum amount.
The Social Security Administration will pay your spouse whichever benefit is higher, whether that be based on his or her own earnings or based on your disability earnings.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits is a complex process. For help appealing a denied claim, contact a Phoenix Social Security Disability attorney for a free consultation today.