The Social Security program was designed to provide financial benefits to individuals that are unable to work because they are disabled, either by birth or by injury. Due to the nature of Social Security Disability benefits, which are meant for these individuals, there are qualifying factors that determine who is eligible to receive benefits and how much they can receive. One of these factors, if benefits are indeed granted, is family maximum and understanding this construct will help you determine where you stand with your benefits.
The idea of a family maximum is that any given family can only receive a certain amount of benefits in order to keep the system as fair as possible. Based on this principle, close family members can receive certain benefits due to their relation to the disabled individual if those family members are, at least somewhat, dependent on that individual’s income. Basically, spouses and children of the beneficiary can receive benefits as well up to a certain limit.
As a general rule, the formula for the family maximum falls between 100 and 150 percent of the individual’s basic Social Security benefit, rounded down to the next lowest ten cents. Of those benefits, they can be appropriated out so that the beneficiary receives it all or so that half of it goes to the spouse and/or children. If there are auxiliary benefits present, then only a third can go to the spouse and/or children. There are, of course, exceptions to this, which is why Social Security law can become very complicated very quickly.
As such, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney if you have been denied Social Security benefits or believe that you could be gaining more. To schedule a free consultation with the Franco Law Firm to learn about how we can help you gain the highest amount of Social Security benefits possible, please call us at (813) 872-0929.