When you get Social Security Disability benefits, some of your family members may also qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration explains that your spouse, dependent children and former spouse may qualify for benefits on your record, but there is a limit to how much your family may get.
To begin with, the main limit is that your family members may only receive up to 50% of your benefit amount. So, if you receive $1,000 a month, they could only get a maximum of $500. The family limit, though, is what you want to pay attention to. Do note, before getting into the family limit, any benefits that your former spouse receives will impact you or your current spouse’s benefit amount.
Maximum family amount
The SSA caps the total amount of benefits that your family can receive. The limit depends on your benefit amount, which can vary greatly. Generally, though, the limit is around 150 to 180% of your benefit award.
What this limit means is that when you add up all the benefits that everyone in your family receives, it cannot go over the maximum allowed for your family. For example, if your benefit amount is $1,000 a month and your wife receives a benefit and your child receives a benefit, then the total you, your wife and your child receive cannot be more than the maximum limit.
If you reach the maximum limit before every relative who qualifies gets her or his benefits, then your family members will get reduced benefits. Note that your benefit will not decrease. For example, if your maximum family benefit is $1,500 and you get $1,000, then that leaves $500 available for your spouse and child. They could each get $250 to stay under your family limit.
Do keep in mind that your family members must be eligible for benefits to get them. Just because you get SSDI does not mean that your family members automatically qualify.