When a disabled individual receives Social Security Disability insurance benefits, their spouse or minor children may also be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. These benefits paid to the spouse or minor child are called "auxiliary benefits." According to the Social Security Administration, "Auxiliary benefits" are additional monthly benefits. These benefits may be payable to other family members on an individual's earnings record if they are entitled to disabled worker's benefits. They are payable to their family members even when an individual is not receiving benefits because of imprisonment, like we mentioned yesterday.
Whether a spouse or children receive Social Security benefits depends on which Social Security benefits the spouse or parent is receiving. Although there are two kinds of Social Security disability benefits: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), only Social Security Disability Insurance has auxiliary benefits. This means an individual must be receiving SSD for their spouse or children to receive auxiliary benefits. Please keep in mind, if an individual is receiving SSI, they are the only person who can receive benefits because there are no auxiliary benefits for SSI.
To receive auxiliary benefits, an individual's spouse must be under age 62 and be the joint caregiver of their children under age 16. For children to qualify for auxiliary benefits, they must be: a dependent, under age 18, and unmarried. Dependent children who are legally adopted are also eligible; for instance, children for whom an individual required to provide child support. Additionally, a disabled adult is considered dependent if they became disabled before the age of 22.
If you're a client and have any questions or concerns regarding your spouses or children's ability to receive auxiliary benefits, please do not hesitate to let us know!