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Social Security disability is often confusing. Further, there are a ton of special programs and rules that many people don’t realize exist. Recently, while talking with one of our senior employees, one of these common situations came up.
She asked me if I knew anything about “auxiliary benefits.” I must have had a confused look on my face because she immediately started to explain them to me.
As I returned to my desk later, I realized that if I was confused by this, then surely a lot of our clients were confused by the term too. So, I did what I always do in a situation like this, I turned to Google.
Essentially, auxiliary benefits are paid to dependent spouses and children of individuals receiving social security.
This program is only for those individuals pursuing SSDI, not SSI. SSI applicants are not eligible for auxiliary benefits. Traditionally, auxiliary benefits are payable to spouses and children of disabled workers.
For a dependent spouse to receive auxiliary benefits, they must be at least 62 years old or have a child who is either under the age of 16 or disabled. For a child to receive auxiliary benefits, they must be a minor (under 18) be found completely disabled before turning 22 or be a high school student under the age of 19.
Auxiliary benefits can also be very beneficial for a large family, a single parent, or really anyone with dependents. It’s important to remember that these benefits can be altered if your family size changes. For instance, if you have a child, your benefits may go up. If your child leaves for college or reaches an age higher than the set limit, your benefits may go down.
For the most part, an eligible dependent can receive up to 50% of the disabled person’s benefits. For instance, if a mother was granted SSDI at a rate of $800 per month, her dependent child could likely receive $400 per month. It’s important to note that there is a cap on how much a family can receive. This is referred to as a family maximum.
The family maximum for the family of a disabled worker is 85 percent of the worker’s Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). However, it cannot be less than the worker’s PIA (primary insurance amount) nor more than 150 percent of the PIA.
If you weren’t aware that you could receive auxiliary benefits, or if you did but need assistance with your claim, give us a call. We’d love to talk to you about all matters related to SSI, SSDI, Social Security Direct Deposit.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law