Social Security Family Maximum Benefits
The total amount your family can earn is subject to a maximum family benefit (MFB) cap if more than one member of your family receives a monthly cash benefit while you are receiving a monthly SSDI check. Frequently, the sum of the SSDI payments for a disabled parent and the benefits for two or more children (or one kid and an eligible spouse) exceeds the maximum family benefit cap.
In general, a family cannot receive more than 150% of the monthly SSDI benefit amount of the handicapped family member.
Family payments are frequently available to those who were financially reliant on a disabled patient who qualifies for Social Security disability benefits. Family members of disabled employees receiving SSDI are eligible for these Social Security payments, which are referred to as dependents' or supplementary benefits (Social Security disability insurance). (Note that recipients of SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, who are disabled are not eligible for family benefits.)
**Husbands, wives, children, and in some circumstances even dependent parents and ex-spouses are considered eligible family members.
The Amount Receivable in Family Benefits
A monthly Social Security benefit for each family member that ranges from 50% to 100% of the monthly disability benefit received by the disabled worker may be available. Whether a family member is a minor child, an adult child who is disabled, a spouse who is in retirement age, or a young parent caring for a kid who is minor or who is disabled determines the amount each family member is entitled for.
Your maximum family benefit is governed by four rules if one of you is disabled:
- - Your MFB cannot exceed 85% of your AIME, which is the sum of all of your past years' earnings and which you may get from the SSA.
- - Your MFB must be less than the amount of your SSDI monthly payout (called your "primary insurance amount," or PIA).
- - More than 150% of your PIA cannot be your MFB.
- - Your maximum family benefit will not include any disability or old age benefits given to a divorced spouse (your ex).
Except for you, the disabled parent, each person's benefit is correspondingly lowered if the total benefits paid to all of your family members exceeds the MFB until the total benefits paid to all of your family members equal the MFB.
The quantity of benefits that can be given to family members has a cap. Depending on how much is being paid to the handicapped worker in benefits and how many family members apply for benefits based on the worker's qualifying wages, the total amount that may be awarded to the family will vary. The maximum payout amount for a dependant benefit is often between 50% and 80% of the worker's disability compensation.
Family Members Eligible for Social Security Benefits
The following family members may be eligible for benefits:
- - A spouse who is caring for a child of the disabled worker who is under age sixteen, or for a disabled child any age, will be eligible for benefits at any age.
- - A spouse is eligible for benefits based on the other spouse's earnings record if he or she is at least 62 years old or older.
- - An ex-spouse may be entitled to benefits on the former spouse's earnings record if the marriage lasted at least ten years prior to the divorce, the applicant is at least 62 years old and unmarried and not eligible for a higher payment based on his own earnings record.
- - A biological child or adopted child or stepchild of a disabled worker may be eligible for benefits based on the parent's earnings record if unmarried and under age 18 (or age 19 if a full-time student no higher than grade twelve in a high school, or any age if disabled).
- - A parent who is 62 years old or older, unmarried, and financially dependent on the disabled worker, if the worker has passed away.
The Effect on Disabled Worker's Benefits
When a family member claims for dependent benefits, the SSDI benefits of the disabled individual (the "claimant") are never decreased. This implies that a parent who is divorced and owes child support has no justification to oppose if their kid applies for the Social Security child benefit.
What about Divorced Spouse Benefits?
Benefits based on age or disability that are given to a divorced spouse or their surviving spouse are not included in calculating the maximum family benefit. The maximum family benefit does, however, include payments given to a divorced spouse who qualifies for benefits due to caring for the disabled worker's minor or handicapped children. Because the divorced spouse must be receiving a mother's or father's benefit, payments paid to a divorced spouse who is not disabled and is under 60 years old will count against the maximum family benefit.
For more information on dependents' benefits, you can consult our disability attorneys at Law Office of Irene Ruzin.