When a disabled individual receives Social Security disability insurance benefits (also known as DIB, SSDI or Title 2 benefits), their spouse and/or minor children may also be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. These benefits paid to the spouse or minor child are called “auxiliary benefits.”
Wait a minute, I’m on SSI, but my kids didn’t get any Social Security benefits.
Whether a spouse or children receive Social Security benefits depends on which Social Security benefits the spouse or parent is receiving. There are two kinds of Social Security disability benefits: Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Note: Even though only “Social Security Disability Insurance” uses the word “disability,” both programs provide Social Security benefits for disabled individuals. However, only Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has auxiliary benefits.
This means you have to be receiving SSDI for your spouse or children to receive auxiliary benefits. If you are on SSI, you are the only person who can receive benefits because there are no auxiliary benefits for SSI.
When can children and spouses receive auxiliary benefits?
As noted above, the disabled individual has be receiving SSDI benefits (not SSI).
1. Spouses have to be either:
a) 62 or older, or
b) have a child in their care who is either
i) under the age of 16, or
2. Children have to either:
a) minor child (under age 18), or
b) adult disabled before the age of 22, or
c) high school student under age 19.
You can check out the applicable regulation here: 20 CFR 404.330