Getting awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be a great benefit to your household income. For those who are unable to work, these monthly benefits can be the difference between being able to make ends meet and not. But what about when your family includes kids and their needs as well? Those monthly benefits can only go so far when there’s a whole family to take care of. The good news is that SSA has thought about this, and in response they’ve made it easy to help others in your family — including your kids — get the benefits they also need.
Which children are eligible?
When you are approved for SSI disability benefits, your children may be eligible for benefits as well. In this case, “children” can refer to biological children, adopted kids or stepchildren. Even grandchildren can sometime get benefits on your record, as well. However, not all children apply, so it’s important to talk to the SSI about who may or may not be eligible.
To receive these benefits, the child must first qualify according to age or status:
– The child must be unmarried and under the age of 18, or
– 18 – 19 years of age and a full-time student in high school, or
– 18 years of age or older and disabled. In this case, the disability must have started before the age of 22.
How much can someone receive?
The Social Security Administration has determined that eligible dependents may be able to receive a monthly amount that equals no more than one-half of your own payments. These benefits can be paid out to multiple dependents, including spouses. There is no set maximum amount that the SSA will pay out to a family; that maximum amount changes for each family depending on the size of the family and the amount of benefits being paid out. However, the maximum amount is usually set at somewhere between 150 and 180 percent of the benefits awarded to the primary beneficiary.
What about after death?
In addition to dependents being eligible to receive these benefits, they can also be eligible to receive survivor benefits in the event that the primary beneficiary dies. In this case, the benefit amount might be a little different, depending on the circumstances. Typically, survivor benefits are usually 75% of the deceased parent’s benefits, which will be awarded until the child turns 18 (actually, the payments will stop the month before the child’s 18th birthday).
However, these survivor benefits can also go towards older children as well, if they meet criteria similar to the criteria laid out above (a full-time student if aged 18 or 19, or an adult over the age of 19 that has a disability).
As you can see, children are able to collect SSI payments based on the benefits that have been awarded to their parents — whether that parent is alive or has passed. These benefits can be awarded to biological children, adopted children, stepchildren and even grandchildren, depending on the situation of each family. These benefits can be up to 50% of the primary beneficiary’s awarded monthly benefits, and can be awarded to more than one or two dependent in the same family, with the maximum amount for the entire family usually set at or around 150 – 180 percent of the primary beneficiary’s awarded amount.
If you would like to know more about how your children could be eligible for your SSI benefits, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.