Coye Law Firm

Benefits for Family Members

Can My Family Receive Disability Benefits?

Many people who are injured and unable to work worry about how their unemployment will affect their families. There are many circumstances within a family that effect benefits. If you take care of a child or parent or are recently divorced or widowed, you may be entitled to additional benefits. 

Can A Widow/Widower Receive Benefits?

Men and women can get their deceased spouse’s disability benefits under certain circumstances. To qualify, the following conditions must be met:

  • The surviving spouse must be age 60 or older, or 50 or older and disabled.
  • The surviving spouse can be any age if they are caring for the deceased person’s biological child.
  • The surviving spouse cannot be remarried.
  • The deceased spouse must have been eligible for SSD or SSI.

Can a Disabled Child Receive Benefits?

Disabled children can receive disability benefits for their conditions if:

  • Their condition inhibits their normal functioning
  • Is expected to last at least a year or result in death, and
  • Their parents live on limited income and resources.

A child can get benefits if their parent is disabled/deceased and eligible to receive SSD benefits. Children are also eligible if they are:

  • Under age 18
  • Unmarried
  • Age 18 or 19, a full time student, and in grade 12 or below
  • Age 18 or older and disabled if the disability started before age 22

How Does Divorce Affect my Disability Payments?

Depending on whether or not your ex-husband or wife is living or deceased, your disability benefits can be affected. You can claim the same disability benefits as your ex-spouse if:

  • your ex-spouse is living,
  • your marriage lasted longer than 10 years,
  • you are over age 62,
  • your potential benefits are less than your ex-spouse’s
  • your ex-spouse is entitled to disability benefits

If the ex-spouse is deceased, then you follow the requirements for getting widow or widower benefits.

Can Caregivers Recieve Disability Benefits?

Some people take care of their elderly/disabled relatives themselves. If you are the primary caretaker for a disabled relative under the age of 65, you can arrange to be the “representative payee.”

A representative payee receives the disability benefits on behalf of the person they take care of. To be designated as a representative payee, the Social Security Administration must approve you after a careful investigation. It can be overwhelming to have control over someone else’s benefits and well-being. The SSA has a guide addressing common questions and concerns available on their website.

Can I Receive My Partner’s Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration recognizes common law marriages in states that honor them. Only eleven states recognize it:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington D.C.

Florida doesn’t recognize common law marriage, so surviving or separated spouses who had this type of marriage do not qualify to receive their partner’s disability benefits. Many people depend on another’s financial support in order to maintain the lifestyle they are used to. If you or a family member are entitled to disability benefits and your situation suddenly changes, you may be able to continue receiving this form of assistance. 


Call 407-648-4940 or contact Coye Law Firm today for a free, private strategy session about your case.

The expert disability attorneys at Coye Law Firm are experienced with Florida, New York, Michigan, and District of Columbia law and are here to help the disabled.

Looking For More Information About Disability Law and Benefits?

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