Social Security Disability Insurance provides help to disabled workers but may not cover all expenses for a family with children. For example, the maximum benefits in 2021 were $3,148 and jumped slightly to $3,345 in 2022.
Families relying on this support can investigate the options that permit higher payments when a person has dependent children.
The benefit amount for dependent children
The Social Security Administration allocates up to an additional 50 to 80% of a person’s monthly benefit amount for dependent children. For example, a payment of $2,000 a month typically allows an additional $1,000 for a total of $3,000 if a person has dependent children.
The amount does not increase per child. The additional payment, in this case, stays at $1,000 whether a person has one child or more.
Qualifications for dependents
A dependent child is an unmarried minor under 18 or a full-time high school student under 19. Biological and adopted children are eligible. A stepchild qualifies, as do grandchildren and stepgrandchildren if the individual has legal custody and the child does not have a living parent.
An adult with a disability who received the diagnosis before age 22 can qualify as a dependent of a parent. SSDI benefits and Supplemental Security Income have limits if a person gets both, so a parent needs to review options to determine the right situation.
A child that starts working can lose benefits, as does a child that does not follow prescribed treatments that can correct a disabling illness. Neglecting to update an address or spending over 30 consecutive days in prison for a crime can lead to disqualification.
Parents ready to apply for benefits can do so at the Social Security office. The office permits an advocate to assist the family in navigating the process.