As a fully disabled parent receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you may still struggle with financially caring for your child.
Although your SSDI benefits can help you, what about the costs associated with raising a family?
Can your child receive benefits if you are receiving SSDI benefits?
Is there a maximum family benefit?
What other resources are available to help you raise your family?
These are only a few of the questions you may have since becoming fully disabled. It can be a scary time to think about how you can make ends meet. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has programs in place to assist families as they navigate the process of receiving benefits. In addition, a skilled and experienced Social Security disability lawyer in Atlanta can help Georgians understand what benefits are available to them and help them maximize their benefits.
These benefits are available to you if you know what to apply for. Here at Affleck & Gordon, we have over 40 years of experience helping families with their Social Security disability claims, and we can help your family, too. We offer free case evaluations online, and can help you best understand the changing laws and policies that govern the SSA.
What are the Potential Benefits for my Minor Child?
A minor child is eligible for benefits based on the earnings of the parent before receiving SSDI benefits. Simply put, the more you earned before becoming disabled, the more benefit your minor child is eligible for now.
The SSA determines your benefits through SSDI by calculating a percentage of your prior earnings, called your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). For example, if you previously earned $4000 a month, your SSDI benefits are approximately $2000 per month. Your minor child will receive half that amount, or approximately $1000 per month.
A minor child can receive these benefits through their high school graduation as long as they are unmarried and under the age of 18, or 19 plus two months and still a full-time student, whichever comes first.
I Have Three Children. Will They All Receive This Benefit?
The SSA has a maximum family benefit amount (MFB) in place. This means that for two or more children, plus a spouse, the maximum benefit paid by the SSA will be approximately 150% of the disabled parent’s benefit amount. According to the Social Security Administration, there is a formula used to calculate the benefits, as follows:
“The formula used to compute the family maximum is similar to that used to compute the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). The formula sums four separate percentages of portions of the worker's PIA. For 2020 these portions are the first $1,226, the amount between $1,226 and $1,770, the amount between $1,770 and $2,309, and the amount over $2,309. These dollar amounts are the "bend points" of the family-maximum formula. Thus, the family maximum bend points for 2020 are $1,226, $1,770, and $2,309. For the family of a worker who reaches age 62 or dies in 2020 before attaining age 62, the total amount of benefits payable will be computed so that it does not exceed:
(a) 150 percent of the first $1,226 of the worker's PIA, plus
(b) 272 percent of the worker's PIA over $1,226 through $1,770, plus
(c) 134 percent of the worker's PIA over $1,770 through $2,309, plus
(d) 175 percent of the worker's PIA over $2,309.
We then round this total amount to the next lower multiple of $.10 if it is not already a multiple of $.10.”
Although this may on the surface appear complicated, rest assured that these calculations are done for your benefit by the SSA. With the help of a disability lawyer, you can maximize the benefits for your family according to the law and ensure that your household’s needs are met.
What Other Resources Are Available to Help My Family?
Other resources for families in need in Georgia are the following:
WIC--Providing food support for families throughout Georgia, including an approved food list, a nutrition program, formula resources, and information to assist with breastfeeding.
SNAP Benefits--The Georgia food stamp program is federally funded to provide monthly benefits for low-income households to help pay for the costs of food.
HUD--need help paying your utility bills? The Department of Housing and Urban Development may be able to help.
Who Are We?
Here at Affleck & Gordon, we’re dedicated to assisting disabled and injured people and their families in Georgia. Tens of thousands of our clients receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with our team of experienced, skilled disability lawyers on their side. The only areas of law we practice are disability and injury related. By specializing in this practice area, we best serve our clients with expertise and attention to detail. We want to help you and your family earn the benefits that can improve your quality of life and take care of basic needs every day. Since we’ve been fighting for the rights of the disabled, we have assisted more than 25,000 people over our 40 years in practice. We can help you too.
Our commitment to our clients sets us apart from attorneys in general practice. We specialize in winning SSI and SSDI for you and to maximizing your family benefits, too. In our offices, our beliefs about helping clients can be thought of as the following: You deserve an attorney who is professional and pleasant to work with, but who also cares about your case and is committed to representing you aggressively and zealously within the bounds of the law.
Let us help you today.
If you’re seeking assistance for additional benefits for your family now that you’re disabled, or you’re thinking about filing and don’t know where to start, Affleck & Gordon can help. We’ve been helping people in Georgia just like you for over 40 years. Sign up for a free case evaluation here, or call us (404) 990-3945.