What are Social Security auxiliary benefits

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

ii) disabled.

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

Updated 05/01/11.

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • tabithadilts

    ok so my daughters father is receiving ssi but he has never worked, everytime i have applied for child support or ssi i have been denied, i need to know if my child is eligible for her half of benefits

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk

    I have modified the article slightly to make it clearer that there are no auxiliary benefits in SSI cases.

  • trichardson

    So this is the question me and my fiance are wondering. The father of her child is on SSDI, and recently after a DNA test he was proved to be the father. The child which we are speaking of lives with us in a different state(Maine) to the fathers New York. So would our son be under the guidelines to receive these auxiliary benefit's?

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk
  • ME

    If I have legal guardianship of my nephew (age 13) and my sister is receiving SSDI due to a mental condition, can I apply to receive the benefits for his caretaking? My sister has been told that she could receive benefits for him, but unless she gets to keep it, she won't apply for it, saying that the SS office told her it was only if he lived with her. Is that true or could I apply for him? THANKS

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk

    I am not aware of a requirement that a child has to live with the disabled parent to be eligible for auxiliary benefits.

    The only thing hiccup might be the dependency requirements. The regulations say a child has to be “dependent” on the parent (http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0350.htm). However, being a natural child of the disabled parent automatically makes the child dependent (http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0361.htm).

    So, it seems that a even if a child is out the disabled parent's household and not receiving support from the disabled parent, the child is still considered dependent.

    Contact your local Social Security office and see what they tell you.

  • Pingback: Dependency in Children’s Social Security auxiliary benefit casesColorado Social Security Law | Colorado Social Security Law

  • Bareit4me_2000

    i will soon be receiving my daughter's father's ssdi benefits after settling custody case. he has another daughter from previous marriage that receives ssdi benefits too. she will soon be turning 18. will my daughter's benefits increase then? will she get her sister's share of ssdi benefits?

  • Bareit4me_2000

    i meant my daughter's ssdi benefits.. not her father's.

  • Tinkertink

    nope none the state can not make a person that receives SSI to pay any child support….

  • Tinkertink

    Its until either 18 or when they graduate high school… its divide among the children… once she is out of the system you would have to contact Social Secutiy for them to take action this can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to complete… its not as easy as it sounds

  • Tinkertink

    if you have legal guardianship then no she is right about that only if he lives with her can she get a benefit on him..

  • Tinkertink

    money payment

  • Trichardson

    Ending up finding this answer out when we went to court. Not much as all actually…we were entitled to 6 dollars a month. Not complaining about the lack of payment, but you would think a man who had a child could help out a little. Doesn't matter at this point. I have decided to go ahead and adopt him..offically for the record make him my real son

  • Cravethewaves777

    Hello, my two children just found out that they are eligible to receive auxiliary benefits. My ex husband was disabled (after our divorce) for three years in the early 90's (unknown to me) while my children were little. My question is am I also eligible to receive these past due benefits because I had full custody and care? My ex didn't pay child support while he was disabled. I was on welfare at the time. I have been told that I was eligible at the time that he was disabled but now it is too late. Why would it be too late for me to collect but not too late for my children?

  • Bmitchellphotos

    i was just awarded ssdi. im 33 and ss said my children dont “qualify” for auxillary benefits because i havent made enough income “limits”??? they are 4,7. & 10. pls help

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk

    I have only seen this problem when an individual is not actually receiving SSDI — they are only receiving SSI.

    When this problem comes up, it may be worthwhile to check the type of benefits received with Social Security.

  • Kljmail

    I received a letter in the mail saying my daughter may be eligible for auxiliary benefits,but she is 28yrs old and on ssi. I will be on disability social security can this even be true?

  • http://www.StasiukFirm.com TomaszStasiuk

    That uh… doesn’t make sense to me. It may have just been an automatically generated form letter. However, it would probably be worthwhile to contact SSA to see what’s up.

  • Kljmail

    Thank you.

  • Nor0612

    i receive ssdi and my daughter also receives auxiliary benefits. my question is if her father pays child support will her check be reduced by social security. i live in new jersey. thanks

  • Debra Gamble

    My husband is on SSDI, and has been for over 20 years. He is legally blind. Would I be eligible as his spouse to receive any benefits? I have called Social Security before, and they told me I am not able to collect….. but why? The only explanation they gave me is I have to be 62 or older?? But, I have done some research, and have read of other spouses being able to collect.

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    The following post addresses this issue: http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2009/02/disabled-husband-or-wife-you-may-be-entitled-to-social-security-benefits/

    There is also a link to a terrific “What Every Woman Should Know” FAQ.

    Good luck!

  • Wildbill88

    if he is on ssi then no,but if he is on ssdi then she is eligable.

  • Walter smith

    i am disabled do to medical conditions in the state of new jersey i get $1936 amonth from ssdi and can never work again i am currently separated from my wife going thru a divorce we have to young children 6 and 8 she gets $ 900 amonth from ssdi for my girls she claims shes entitled to more money for child support she has a full time job if she is entitled will they tae most of my check i do need to survive and pay for medicine and doctors not to mention everyday living expenses

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    Hi, Walter.

    It is my understanding that auxiliary benefits do not reduce the disabled individual’s benefits. However, feel free to correct me if I am wrong there.

    I wrote a post some time back about child support and Social Security disability: http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2009/05/can-you-garnish-social-security-disability-benefits-for-child-support/

    However, since I can only guess that you are asking what can be done to preserve your Social Security disability benefits, I suggest you contact a family law attorney in your state. Whether your Social Security disability benefits are garnished/attached for child support is more a family law question. And, unfortunately, I cannot address this.

    All my best Walter.

  • Mary Jo Decapito

    I am 54 years old and divorced . My ex-husband and I are both on disability. I made considerable less money. I thought I was entitled to an auxillary payment. My income is poverty level and his
    is not. should they not use his amount to up mine.

  • Mjd1056

    I am so upset that I can’t even get a little of what’s mine. He stiffed me 13 years ago and the court just let him. He did not put the real price in for our house until after the divorce. He also, received an inheritance of 50 thous. 2 years ago while on disability. How does he get away with it?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    I can’t address benefit amounts. You may want to contact your local Social Security office if you believe your amount is incorrect.

  • Pingback: How much does Social Security pay in Auxiliary benefits | Colorado Social Security Law

  • Dsena02

    The ALJ refused to allow AUXILLIARY benefits for my son when there was clear evidence that he was disabled prior to the age of 22. The lawyer requested benefits as a disabled adult child and she stated that she was not going to do that and that she was only going back to his protective filing date. The medical evidence clearly has 2 doctors that noted his inability to function as early as his teens. And I thought that benefits could go back retroactively for up to a 12 month period. What are our rights if we have any and can it affect the favorable decision he got for only the ssi benefit? 

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    I strongly encourage you to discuss these matters with your attorney, particularly your rights in this case.

    Generally, back benefits can be paid 12 months before the protected filing date (PFD) in DIB bases. However in SSI cases, benefits can only be paid back to the PFD – when a request for an application was made. 

    It is possible to appeal a favorable (partially favorable) decision. However, 1) it is important to do so before the deadline, and 2) appealing a decision appeals the entire decision, not just the parts an individual does not like. It is possible to get *less* after “winning” an appeal, or even to lose everything.

    Talk to your lawyer about the specifics of this case and to evaluate the benefits, risks, and time limits.

  • nickw

    thank you for all the info. i am on SSI and my girlfriend is about to have my baby. can i get any additional fund for the baby?
    thanks again

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    As noted in the article, there are no auxiliary benefits in SSI-only cases. However, there may be additional benefits available through the state Dept of Human Services Office. 

  • Linda

    my neice is 14 and her sister , who is the guardian, ia telling her they stopped her benefits. Is this possible. Both parents are deceased.

  • Dlruzo

    I had custody of niece for 8 or 9 years. Her biological father, later, applied for and received back pay on her for those years. Can he do that legally and am I entitled to that pay since I had custody of her for those yrs…I have legal documents supporting my custody of her during that time.

  • curious

    My Husband was approved of ssdi on January 26, 2012.  He received his backpay on February 4, 2012, before his awards letter came.  He applied for auxiliary benefits for my 2 children and the lady at the local office says that they are entitled to backpay as well.  My question is, when will they receive backpay and will they be paid on the 3rd Wednesday of the month like my spouse does.

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    You will need to contact your local Social Security office for that information.

  • Anonymous

    I’m currently 17 and in college. My father is deceased and my mother has been receiving my SSI for the past 7 months and has not sent me a dime for living expenses. The things that I have are from money that I received from my financial aid refund check and from working. Is there some way I could receive that money from that past 7 months that she has not given me? (Note: I turn 18 next month)

  • Jennfrye25

    Hi can you share with me what the word fully favorable means

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Social Security hearing decisions are marked “Fully Favorable” “Partly Favorable” or “Unfavorable.” 

    While Social Security decides the issue of disability (is this person disabled?) with a yes or no — there is no 50% disabled under Social Security — there are also *other* issues. Does the disability continue? When did the disability begin?For example: X claims he is disabled back to 01/01/10 and his disability continues.If the judge agrees, a decision is issued labeled “Fully Favorable.”

    If the judge does not find the individual disabled, a decision is issued labeled “Unfavorable.”

    If the judge decides *either* that the individual is no longer disabled, *or* that the disability started on a later date, a decision is issued labeled “Partly Favorable.” The judge approves the case, but there are parts the judge disagrees with.

    See http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2008/06/i-got-a-partly-favorable-decision-what-does-that-mean-am-i-partly-disabled/

  • Dance_man101

    Have you spoken to your mom about your needs? Is she just saving the money to give you once you turn 18? If not, you should go to the courts and ask them to get the information with what she’s done with the money. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Take a look at http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2012/03/parent-misusing-childs-social-security-benefits/

  • Jennfrye25

    Thank you so much for taking the time out to respond to me I truly appericate asking for BIG prayers for you, its take Love and passion to help other, One more question Do I file Taxes on my benefit and what about Lump sum payment how does that work regarding taxes filing and claiming I am still new to all this  thank you so much for your help and support

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    The only answer I can give is “it depends.” http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2009/10/are-social-security-disability-benefits-taxable/

  • Tim

    I actually just been through this. According to the law, whatever the total child support obligation is, it will be reduced by the amount of aux child benefits she recieved. For example, if child support is 1200 and she recieved 900 in ssd aux benefits, then all you are required to pay is 300. Do a modification to child support with your CSE and it will be fixed.

  • coltm456

    I don’t understand this. You’ve been divorced from the man for over 16 years. What does any inheritance have to do with you and Social Security? What does the marital house have to do with this? It seems to me like you are badgering your ex-husband because you are not happy with the life you have now. Why don’t you leave him alone and move on? This post should be removed from this web site totally.

  • coltm456

    I don’t understand this comment either. How do you know your ex-husband’s money situation? How do you know that he’s on disability? Are you still using your married name or are you using your maiden name? A lot of women stay married for 10 years and divorce at the 10 year mark just to draw social security from their ex. How long were you married to him? What do you think this guy owes you after 16 years of being divorced from him? How do you retrieve this information? Do you have any aunts or uncles who worked for the judge?

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