We have discussed previously in this space the different aspects of a disability claim for individuals who have an inability to work due to a physical impairment. Today, we will take a look at the other people who may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on a disabled worker’s record.
The first people a disabled worker is likely to want to receive benefits are his or her spouse and children. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), certain family members may be entitled to receive benefits equal to up to half of the disabled worker’s rate (the amount paid to the disabled worker depends on the severity of the disability and how much that worker paid into the social security system while working.) There is, however, a cap on the total amount any family can receive. This maximum amount depends on what the original benefit amount is, and how many family members are qualified to receive benefits. These family benefits are not generally going to exceed 150 to 180 percent of the disability payments paid to the disabled worker.
Interestingly, a worker’s ex-spouse may also be eligible for benefits. To qualify, that spouse must have been married to the worker for at least ten years and must meet other eligibility requirements which can be complicated to sift through. An experienced SSDI attorney can help a former spouse understand if they are eligible. The SSA says that any amount paid to a qualifying ex-spouse will not affect the amounts paid to the worker whose record the payments are based upon or his or her current family.
Making certain their family receives the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled is likely important to any injured worker. Navigating the social security system can be daunting, especially for those with a debilitating physical disability. Workers may consider contacting a social security disability attorney in Ohio, who can help families with the process of understanding benefits’ requirements and how to obtain them.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Survivors Planner: If You Are the Worker’s Widow or Widower,” accessed, Jan. 20, 2014