When a parent receives Social Security disability benefits, specifically SSDI (not SSI), his or her minor children are often eligible for Social Security auxiliary benefits. The minor children are still potentially eligible for these benefits even if the parents are divorced, and even if the children live with the non-disabled parent.
So, how does adding another child will affect the amounts paid to the disabled parent’s children living in a separate household.
My ex is disabled. If he has more kids. How will that affect the Social Security benefits my kids receive?
The disabled individual’s child is eligible to receive auxiliary benefits from Social Security. If the combined total of the all benefit (the disabled individual’s benefits and all auxiliary benefits) exceeds the family maximum, then all auxiliary benefits are equally reduced to bring the combined total within the maximum.
In short, if the disabled parent has a new child, all the other beneficiaries may see their benefits reduced.
Here is how Social Security explains it:
I’ve heard that there is a maximum family benefit under Social Security. Does this mean that once the maximum is reached, some family members won’t get benefits?
No. Each family member entitled to a monthly benefit will receive one. The total benefits received by the family, however, cannot exceed the family maximum amount. That amount is divided among all entitled dependents. The more dependents who receive benefits on the worker’s Social Security record, the lower the benefit amount will be for each dependent. However, the family maximum does not affect the wage earner’s benefit.