Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security benefits can provide individuals with disabilities the resources they need for everyday life. These programs also provide a number of additional benefits of which some recipients may not be aware. Here, the disability advocates at Disability Associates provide an overview of the programs and perks available to those currently receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

Dependent and Spouse Benefits

Based on your acceptance into the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, your family may be eligible to receive additional, or auxiliary, benefits. Dependents under the age of 18 whose parent is receiving Social Security benefits may have a separate application submitted on their behalf, allowing them financial assistance.

The amount that your child receives in benefits depends upon how much money you—as the disabled individual—receive as a SSDI benefit. Generally, your child will receive up to 50% of your total SSDI benefit. Keep in mind that Social Security includes biological children, adopted children and dependent stepchildren in their definition of “children.”

As the spouse of someone receiving SSDI benefits, you may also be eligible to receive benefits if you are 62 years of age or older or if you are caring for a child who is under 16 years old and is eligible for dependents benefits. In addition, if you are divorced but were married to the SSDI recipient for 10 years or more, you may also be eligible under the same criteria as if you were still married. For more information on family benefits, please visit the Social Security Administration’s benefits planner.

Survivors’ Benefits

When an individual receiving SSDI passes away, the money that they were receiving can go to their dependents, including a spouse, children and even elderly family members. Similar to dependents, surviving spouses, children and dependent adults may be eligible to receive the benefits that a SSDI recipient received prior to their death. There is, however, a limit to how much a family can receive based on their deceased relative’s Social Security benefits. Generally, a family cannot receive more than 150-180% of the total amount of the deceased’s Social Security benefit. If the percentage of awarded benefits would be higher than that percentage, each family member’s percentage would be reduced proportionally until the awarded amount meets the percentage limit. Note that you can not report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online. Instead, contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213.

Medicare Coverage

It is no secret that living with a disability can lead to substantially higher medical bills. Fortunately, those who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits will also qualify for Medicare Part A, following a waiting period of two years after the date of SSDI entitlement. Medicare Part A is automatically provided to those entitled to SSDI benefits and covers hospital bills and some medical and hospice expenses at no cost to the insured.

Individuals who qualify also may also choose to enroll in Medicare Part B or Part D. Medicare Part B covers doctor’s visits and medical expenses not covered under part A, while Part D covers the cost of prescription drugs. Keep in mind that the two-year waiting period applies to all Parts of the Medicare program, and that recipients will likely need to pay a monthly premium for both Parts B and D once the waiting period ends and benefits begin.

Consult a Qualified Disability Attorney for More Information on Your Potential Benefits

Living with a disability poses unique challenges for individuals and families alike. Ensuring that you and your loved ones receive the support you are legally entitled to is of the highest priority, and the advocates at Disability Associates have over 25 years combined experience in handling Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security income claims. To speak with our team about your situation, contact us today.