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If I am disabled, is my family entitled to Social Security disability benefits?

If you have qualified for Social Security disability benefits, then eligible family members may also get disability benefits based on the record of your work.

A spouse or child who is deemed eligible can collect a monthly benefit that is equal to up to one half of the monthly benefit that you receive. If you have more than one or two family members who are eligible for Social Security disability, keep in mind that the total amount paid to your family is limited. This limit may vary, but generally they cannot collect more than 150-180% of the benefits that you receive.

Your spouse is eligible to receive benefits if they are over 62 years of age, or if they are caring for a child who is under 16 years of age. Your spouse may also be eligible if he or she cares for a child with disabilities, regardless of that child's age.

Your children, including any children that you may have previously adopted, may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you are disabled and if the child is under 18 years of age and unmarried. In addition, your child can qualify if he or she is under the age of 19 and unmarried or they attend high school on a full time basis. If your child is 18 years of age or older and unmarried, and if they became disabled before they were 22 years old, they are eligible for disability benefits.

When you initially apply for Social Security disability benefits, be sure to pursue benefits for your eligible family members as well so that this decision is not delayed. This is especially important for families who have dependent children who are minors. An attorney or representative can assist you in applying for and receiving the full benefits that you and your family need. If you feel you need legal help in dealing with the Social Security Administration, by all means speak with a representative or disability attorney who will help you and your family get the benefits that you are entitled to.