SSD Family Benefits
A disability can significantly change your life and the lives of your family members. An individual who used to work full-time to support his or her family, once disabled, can struggle with physical pain and/or emotional suffering on top of managing finances and caring for their loved ones. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers "disabled" individuals financial assistance through Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. If certain qualifications are met, the SSA may also provide additional cash benefits to children or family members. In certain circumstances, SSD family benefits may be awarded to a spouse, divorced spouse, children, or a disabled child.
Family Member SSD Eligibility
Although there is a limit to the amount the SSA will pay a family, each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit of up to 50 percent of an individual's disability rate. The total amount of SSD family benefits is different for everyone and is based on the person's benefit amount and the number of family members who also qualify on the disabled person's record. Typically, the total amount of SSD family benefits is approximately 150 to 180 percent of an individual's disability benefit.
One general rule the SSA applies is that there is a family limit (typically 150-180% of the individual's rate). Family benefits are divided proportionally to eligible family members. However, the disabled individual's benefit rate is fixed, subject only to Cost of Living increases. During the application process, the SSA asks for proof of marriage and, if applicable, dates of prior marriages, when a spouse is applying for SSD benefits in Rhode Island. In addition, the SSA asks for Social Security numbers and birth certificates for any (qualifying) family members who apply for benefits with the disabled individual. It is important to note that if a person has a divorced spouse who qualifies for benefits, this will not influence the total benefits that a disabled person or their family may receive from the SSA.
Legal Guidance and Experience You Can Rely On
There are specific eligibility requirements for SSD family benefits for a spouse, divorced spouse, children, and a disabled child. Because these requirements are different for each family member, the SSD family benefits application and appeal process can be complex and overwhelming. In most situations, there is no time to waste as finances dwindle and health care expenses mount. It is critical to be aware of all the necessary steps and required information associated with applying for SSD family benefits.
As Rhode Island's trusted Social Security Disability law firm, Marasco & Nesselbush is dedicated to supporting our clients every step of the way. From providing guidance in the SSD application process to filing any and all necessary appeals, the Rhode Island SSD attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush are fully aware of the benefits you and your family deserve and we leverage our extensive legal experience and knowledge to help people and families obtain the SSD benefits they need and deserve. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help by calling (401) 274-7400 or filling out a contact form. We would be happy to help you.