November 6, 2017
Do you Know the Difference Dependent Benefits Could Make for You?
We have published several posts over the past few months about dependent benefits: how they impact your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application, how to go about applying for them once you are awarded, and now for our final post in this series, why receiving these benefits is so important!
What are the benefits of receiving dependent benefits?
If you suddenly find yourself disabled and out of work, chances are you will be unprepared for the sudden loss of income in the long term. Even when your SSDI eligibility is approved the benefit payments will likely be modest. The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that the average monthly benefit for SSDI recipients in 2017 is $1,171.00. For many, this will be a severe cut in monthly income and will likely drastically effect your ability to take care of your needs and the needs of your family. Fortunately, Social Security will issue additional funds for those with dependents to help pay bills and handle any additional monthly expenses.
When you are awarded SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will pay the maximum benefit based on their program rules. Beneficiaries with dependents are entitled to additional monetary compensation in the form of dependent benefits (or “child’s benefits,” “spousal benefits,” or “parent’s” benefits). As we mentioned in our previous post, the benefits can provide up to an additional 50% per month increase to your monthly income. Using the average figure of $1,171.00, your dependents would be eligible to up to an additional $585.00 for each eligible dependent., A beneficiary with one dependent would receive a monthly benefits of $1,756—a dramatic increase from the first figure. These additional funds can be used to handle the needs of the dependent, be it paying for bills, buying groceries or satisfying additional expenses.
Dependent benefits are payable for the entire time that you are receiving your benefits, assuming the dependent continues to meet the dependency and age requirements set by SSA. (Please see our first post for more information on age requirements). Continuing to receive these benefits means that when you are issued a Cost-of-Living Adjustment increase or an Earnings Adjustment increase, the dependent benefit, too, will increase by the same percentage. After a certain timeframe of being on SSDI, you will become eligible for Medicare insurance for which the premium will be deducted from your monthly benefit. While your benefits may slightly decrease, your dependent benefits will continue to remain the same.
We hope you have enjoyed our series surrounding dependent benefits. If you continue to have questions about this topic, please feel free to reach out to The Advocator Group or your local Social Security office!
This post was written by Lauryn, Benefit Coordinator.
Nothing in this post is intended as advice or a suggestion to elect or not elect to claim benefits of any kind, including Social Security benefits, nor is it intended as financial advice in any way. The decision to claim benefits is a personal one that is contingent upon each individual’s unique circumstances.