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Do family members qualify for SSD benefits?

Becoming disabled is a huge change that can have repercussions in all areas of a person's life. This is true, of course, for a person of any station in life, but it can be particularly overwhelming for a people who have others who depend on them. This could be a parent who suddenly becomes disabled and has children to care for, a breadwinner whose injury could threaten the financial well-being of a spouse or a person who has a disabled child.

In Michigan and around the country, it can be confusing to try to determine one's own eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits, let alone benefits for potentially qualifying family members. Getting more information can help with developing a personalized strategy for obtaining maximum benefits.

There are various family members who may be able to receive some form of disability benefits, in addition to the disabled individual. These family members who may be eligible include spouses, children, disabled children and adult disabled children who became disabled before reaching the age of 22. Divorced spouses may also be eligible in certain circumstances.

Qualifying family members may be eligible for a monthly benefit that can be up to 50 percent of the rate of the disabled person receiving benefits. There are limits, though, to how much can be paid to a single family. In general, families don't receive more than 150 to 180 percent of the disabled person's benefit rate. This total ultimately depends upon the amount of benefits and the number of family members eligible to receive benefits.

Source: SSA.gov, "Disability Planner - Family Benefits," accessed Oct. 31, 2016

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