SSDI Benefits for Dependent Children

Legal Guidance for Social Security Applicants in Massachusetts

If you are a working adult with a family, your income is typically used to meet not only your own needs but also the needs of your children and possibly your spouse. If you become disabled, that income is reduced pursuant to the SSDI guidelines for income benefits. The Social Security Administration recognizes, however, that your dependent family members may continue to need support as well. For this reason, the SSA also allows applicant family members to receive benefits in certain circumstances. At Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., our Social Security attorneys can help claimants in Massachusetts determine whether their dependents might qualify for additional benefits.

Seeking Benefits for Dependent Children

One category of family members who may be entitled to dependent benefits are dependent children of parents who are currently receiving SSDI. A child may qualify if one or both parents is an SSDI recipient. The benefits that the child is entitled to are known as auxiliary benefits. They are provided in the form of monthly cash payments of up to one half of the full disability amount being received by the disabled parent.

The only limiting factor on a child receiving up to one half of the full amount is that a total family can receive no more than 150-180 percent of the parent’s full disability benefit. Thus, if a parent receives $1,000 a month, a dependent child is entitled to receive up to $500 a month in additional benefits. However, if the parent has three children, each child cannot receive the full $500, since this would put the full family benefit at $2,500 a month, far exceeding the 150% limitation. Based on the total amount the disabled parent receives, and the number of family members at issue, a qualified disability benefits attorney can help you evaluate what your likely dependent children benefits may be.

Not all children qualify for dependent benefits. In order to receive them, a child must be related to the disabled parent as a biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. Thus, there must be some type of formal parent-child relationship. Additionally, the child must be financially dependent on the parent. This means that the child cannot otherwise be receiving full financial support from another source or be providing for himself or herself. Finally, a child is only eligible for dependent benefits until he or she turns 18, or if he or she is a full-time secondary student, until he or she turns 19. After that time, dependent benefits are no longer available.

Explore Your Options with a Massachusetts Attorney When Pursuing SSDI

Dealing with the onset of a disability affects all of the members of a disabled individual’s household. Reduced income and the stress of being unable to work can be felt by even the youngest members of a family. Thankfully, the SSA provides for benefits for both disabled individuals and their families in many circumstances, which can bring some financial breathing room. At Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., our SSDI lawyers have helped many residents of Massachusetts apply for benefits for their dependent children. We can fight for your right to the greatest amount to which you are entitled. From our Boston office, we represent applicants in many areas of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, as well as Norfolk, Essex, Plymouth, Middlesex, and Essex Counties. Contact our office at (800) 367-0871 or online to set up a free consultation.