Working families in Trinity rely on income from one or both parents to meet household expenses. The loss of one parent’s income can cause severe hardship, particularly if that loss continues over the long term.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits to make up for income lost when a worker who supports a family becomes disabled and is no longer able to work. Both the worker and members of the worker’s family may be eligible to receive benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Trinity SSDI benefits for children and spouses will vary according to circumstances, but an experienced attorney could explain what is available and help assemble a compelling application.
Not all family members are eligible to receive SSDI benefits. The benefits available vary based on the relationship to the disabled worker.
SSA will pay benefits to spouses and, in some situations, divorced spouses. In order for a former spouse to receive benefits, the parties must have been married for ten years, and the former spouse must not have remarried.
In addition, a husband, wife, or former spouse must be at least 62 years old or be caring for a child who is under the age of 16 or disabled. The qualifying disabled worker must be the parent of that child for a spouse under the age of 62 to receive SSDI benefits.
SSDI benefits in Trinity will only be paid to children in limited circumstances. The child must be unmarried, regardless of age. Moreover, the child must either be a minor or suffer from a disability that started before the age of 22. A child who is 18 but still in high school will qualify for benefits.
Adopted children are also eligible, but stepchildren may only receive SSDI benefits in certain situations. In some situations, SSA may pay benefits to grandchildren as well.
Trinity SSDI benefits for children and spouses are subject to a limit set by the Social Security Administration. The family maximum is based on the benefit amount received by the disabled worker and the number of qualifying family members.
In general, family members who receive benefits based on the record of a disabled employee may receive up to 50 percent of the benefit amount paid to the employee. The total amount received by all eligible family members often totals between 150 and 180 percent of the benefits provided to the disabled worker.
If so many family members qualify that they reach the maximum, each family members’ benefit will be proportionately reduced. However, the disabled employee’s benefits will remain constant. In addition, amounts received by a divorced spouse will not affect the benefits payable to other family members.
SSA rules regarding Trinity SSDI benefits for children and spouses are sometimes complex, and families often encounter difficulty seeking the benefits they need. The process of applying for SSDI benefits differs for children, and the required documentation for establishing eligibility may be subject to change. Finally, it is important to realize that the amount of benefits received by spouses, former spouses and children may be reduced by benefits received from other sources. For help completing and filing an application, consider consulting with a knowledgeable SSDI attorney.