If you are a disabled worker, it is natural to worry about your family’s well-being after you pass. Knowing that your surviving family members are often entitled to some or all of the SSDI benefits you received while alive can bring peace of mind.
To best protect your survivors, it is important to understand which of them are eligible to apply for continuing payments.
Your spouse may receive SSDI benefits after your death. To qualify, he or she must meet specific criteria, including being at least 60 years old or 50 years old if disabled. Additionally, if your surviving spouse cares for your child who is under the age of 16 or disabled, eligibility for benefits may extend.
If they meet age and dependency requirements, your kids may also qualify for benefits. Generally, unmarried children under the age of 18 (or 19 if still in high school) can receive them, and adult children who became disabled before the age of 22 may also be eligible.
When you have dependent parents, it is comforting to know they can receive SSDI payments. Again, certain criteria apply, such as being at least 62 years old and having been dependent on you for at least half of their financial support.
Siblings or partners
While spouses, children and dependent parents may be eligible for survivor benefits, siblings and common-law partners generally do not qualify under SSDI regulations. The eligibility prioritizes only certain familial relationships in determining entitlement.
Although not all of your relations can access your SSDI benefits, do not assume that this financial resource is not available to your survivors. Research, preparation and timely filing of claims following your death ensures your family members receive their entitled benefits.