Understanding Auxiliary Benefits
If you have been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) then your immediate family members may be eligible for auxiliary benefits from Social Security. Auxiliary benefits, also known as Family Benefits, are available for children and spouses. These benefits are in ADDITION TO your monthly SSDI benefits, which increases your family’s total monthly income. If you receive $2,000 in SSDI benefits and your children receive $1000 in benefits, then you will receive $3,000 a month in total benefits.
The amount your family may be eligible to receive depends on your personal work history and what you paid into Social Security. It is important to note that most people are eligible for auxiliary benefits, but not everyone, so confirm eligibility with Social Security.
Child Auxiliary Benefits
Child benefits can be paid to biological children, adopted children, or stepchildren. This is true even if your children do not live with you. Benefits are usually paid until the child turns 18, unless they are still enrolled in high school. If you have multiple children, then the total family benefit amount will be split equally between all of your children. As children age out, their portion of the benefit is divided between their siblings. The benefit does not stop until your last child turns 18.
Spousal Auxiliary Benefits
Spousal benefits are only paid to a current spouse. The spouse must be caring for your child under the age of 16. This benefit can be extended if the spouse is caring for a disabled child that became disabled before age 22. Spousal benefits and children’s benefits are divided evenly from the total auxiliary benefit amount.
Completing the Application
Call Social Security to complete the auxiliary benefit application once you have been approved for SSDI benefits. Do this as soon as you receive your award letter so your family can start receiving benefits. You may have to provide birth certificates, a marriage certificate, and other general information. The application is straightforward and should only take a phone call. Additionally, if you are eligible for SSDI back pay then your spouse and children should be eligible for back pay too.
If you have questions, do not hesitate to Ask Allison!