If you are currently on Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), your children and spouse may be eligible for auxiliary benefits. Auxiliary Social Security benefits are paid out to children and spouses in the event that one parent or spouse becomes disabled and receives SSDI benefits. Auxiliary benefits may take the place of child support payments in some circumstances. Determining how much money your child or spouse will receive in auxiliary benefits will depend on the amount of benefits you're getting.
Determine who is eligible to receive auxiliary benefits on your behalf. There are laws pertaining to situations of both married and divorced couples as well as biological children, stepchildren, adopted children and all other variations thereof. The age and dependent status of children and work history of spouses are also taken into consideration. For more information on the specific circumstances regarding whether or not your spouse and children are eligible for benefits, see the Social Security Administration's website (see Resources).
Determine the amount of your own monthly Social Security benefits. Your child and spouse are eligible for benefits that equal the amount of one half of your primary insurance payment -- in other words, half of your monthly benefits. In the event you die, the child may then receive three quarters of the payment amount until they are no longer considered a dependent. However, there is a family maximum that the Social Security Administration places on benefits, so if your family exceeds this amount, benefit amounts per person will drop. The family maximum is based on the person receiving SSDI's previous working income. The family maximum is typically an amount that does not exceed 180 percent of your benefit amount. According to the SSA, family maximum levels are normally between 150 percent and 180 percent of the recipients benefit amount.
Determine the amount of auxiliary benefits that your eligible spouse or children can receive by determining your family maximum benefit amount. For example, if your monthly benefit amount is $1,000 then your family maximum should fall between $1,500 (150 percent) and $1,800 (180 percent). The amount each child can receive can be no more than half of your monthly benefit, meaning the child can receive no more than $500 in the example situation. However, if you have two children and your family maximum is $1,800 then each child would only be eligible for $400 a month and auxiliary benefits in order to avoid surpassing the family maximum amount. The amount of auxiliary benefits given to each person in the home will vary by the number of people receiving benefits in the home.
Social security benefits vary and are dependent on a wide variety of varying factors. To properly calculate any benefit amount, you should contact a Social Security Administration representative in order to verify all information about your particular circumstance.
- Colorado Social Security Law: What are Social Security auxiliary benefits
- Social Security Handbook: Amount of Child's Insurance Benefit
- Social Security Handbook: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0320.html
- Social Security Online: FAQ The family maximum
- Social Security Handbook: Chapter 3: Cash Retirement and Auxiliary Benefits; Special Age 72 Payments