When a parent receives disability benefits, can the children receive benefits?

"My ex-husband is on permanent disablity and recieving benefits after losing his leg on the job. Our two minor daughters live with me. Am I eligible to file for benefits on their behalf?"

Generally, disabled Social Security beneficiaries have some money that can be paid to their dependents. If your ex-husband had average earnings prior to becoming disabled your minor daughters are likely to be eligible for monthly dependent child benefits. If your ex-husband did not work much or not at all, there may be no benefits payable for dependents.

Additionally, if your husband is entitled to Supplemental Security Income disability rather than Social Security Disability, there are no benefits payable for dependents, including children.

As a side note, your daughters potential dependent benefits could be affected if your ex-husband is receiving workman's compensation benefits or he has received a workman's compensation settlement. I thought I should mention this issue because you stated that he lost his leg on the job.

I would suggest you contact your local Social Security office to schedule an appointment for your daughters.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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