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Can My Child Qualify for SSDI Benefits?

August 31, 2022 Social Security Disability

Disabled workers who qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits receive a monthly payment that is based on their average pre-disability income. For 2022, the maximum SSDI benefit you could potentially receive is $3,345 per month. Unfortunately, for some people, this is not enough to make ends meet, especially for those who have children. Thankfully, you may qualify for additional benefits if you have dependent children – an experienced disability lawyer can discuss with you whether you qualify. 

Does My Child Need to Be Disabled in Order to Qualify?

Your child does not need to be disabled in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. Instead, they must meet the following criteria: 

  • They must be unmarried; and
  • Younger than 18; or 
  • Younger than 19 and a full-time high school student (being a college student does not qualify)

If you qualify for benefits, be aware that the SSA (Social Security Administration) will discontinue any benefits you receive for them if your child marries before the age of 18 (or 19 if they are a high school student).

The child must also be related to you in one of the following ways: 

  • They must be your biological child
  • They must be your adopted child
  • They must be your stepchild
  • Your grandchild if you have legal custody and there is no living parent
  • Your step-grandchild if you have adopted the child and there is no living parent

If you were unmarried at the time the child was born, you may need to establish parentage in order to qualify for benefits. 

What is the Monthly Benefit Amount for a Dependent Child?

The SSA will pay between 150 and 180% of your monthly benefit amount. So, for example, let’s say you receive a monthly disability benefit payment of $1,400. If your child qualifies, you could receive an additional benefit of $700. If you have two children that would qualify, however, you would not receive an additional $700 – each child would qualify for an additional $350 in benefits in order to stay within the 150-180% limit. 

What You Will Need to Apply for Benefits for Your Child

In order to receive benefits for your child, you will need to submit the following to the SSA: 

  • Your child’s birth certificate or other proof of birth or adoption
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful resident alien status
  • Your child’s W-2 or other tax returns if the child had earnings within the last year

If you are seeking benefits for a stepchild, you will need to prove that you are married to the child’s adoptive or natural parent. 

Questions About Whether You Qualify for Additional Benefits? Contact Us Today

We understand how difficult it can be to make ends meet when you are on disability. Disability attorney Mike Murburg has decades of experience in helping disabled people get all of the benefits they deserve. If you have dependent children who you think may qualify for benefits, give us a call at 887-SSI-ATTY or send us an email to discuss your case and how we can help.