Lilac Gets Approved for Dependent Benefits

Robin Mead

I have been on Social Security for five years and this is the first time anyone ever told me I could get a higher check because I have a child.

It was a pretty easy process to have my child added to my benefits. You can either do it in person or over the phone. In my case, it literally took two minutes. I am a person who gets very nervous about everything, but this was VERY simple.

Here’s what happened during my appointment: First, the person working at the Social Security office informed me that I had to answer the questions truthfully, to the best of knowledge, or face the penalty of perjury.

Then she asked me very basic questions. Child’s name and birth date? Am I her legal parent? Is she a legal citizen? Does she live with me?

Your situation may be different, but I don’t think you will have a problem. I brought her birth certificate and Social Security card. I think they said that if I didn’t have those they could help me obtain them.

I showed them my checkbook for my bank account number. So my daughter’s benefits can go into same account for now.

The backpay arrived this week. $20,000. I still can’t believe it. I will be able to be able to get her the things we have struggling to afford.

About Dependent Benefits

🌷Dependent benefits are only possible for SSDI. Not SSI.

🌷 Benefits are available for children and sometimes for spouses or ex-spouses.

🌷 Your children do not have to live with you to get dependent benefits.

🌷 If your SSDI is very low, in some cases, you will not be able to get dependent benefits.

🌷 In most cases, the amount of benefits is split among your dependents, so the more dependents you have the lower each check will be (there are some exceptions)

🌷 A spouse can get dependent benefits if they are age 62+ (waiting makes the amount go up) or caring for your children (under age 16) or caring for your disabled children (any age)

🌷 In some situations, an ex-spouse can get dependent benefits starting at age 62.

🌷 If your child is disabled, and first became disabled before age 22, they can collect dependent benefits their entire life, this is called Disabled Adult Child benefits.

🌷 If your children were listed on your original application, they will also get backpay. Lilac’s backpay was incredibly high because her children were listed on her original application and many years had past since that time. Learn more about dependent benefits.

🌷 More things that can raise or lower your SSDI Check: Good News and Bad News About Your SSDI Check

47 thoughts on “Lilac Gets Approved for Dependent Benefits”

  1. Since DAC (Disabled Adult Children) benefits are a form of SSDI, does a child born to the recipient of DAC benefits receive child benefits because of their DAC parent? I receive DAC in the amount of 50% of my living parent’s SSA check. I was approved based on a disability that began and was documented before I turned 22. I’m wondering if my child should be receiving benefits thru my DAC status. I’ve looked around for the answer but have had no luck. Thank you. Fantastic website, btw!!


    1. Good question. Unfortunately, the DAC is drawing off the income record of a parent. So if you don’t have your own work credits and income record then it would not be available for your child.


  2. I am currently receive ssdi for myself. Does my kidS are able to receive benefit based on my ssdi although my husband is working and makes a lot? Thanks!


  3. I’m receiving ssdi right now. From what I read, my kids maybe receive some of my disability benift too. Is it based on our family income? Thanks


  4. Hi my daughter was added to her dad’s SSDI Benefits on August 22nd 2019. Now that it’s getting close to 90 days i still haven’t received an award letter or her Direct Express Card. Do you think it will go over the 90 day limit? If so how can I get this resolved?


    1. Hi regina, I’m have not heard of a 90 day limit. You can contact local social security office to ask about this. If there continues to be a problem you could also contact your congressperson’s office. Hope it comes through soon.


  5. My husband receives SSDI and we have been married for two years. Last September 2018 we went in and did an application to add my daughter his step daughter. It’s almost a year and we haven’t heard anything yet. I have even paperwork of me being the rep payee. Every time we call the we leave a message for the person working on the case. Is this normal? To take this long? Are we approved or not? He has two children who receive 325 each. We keep being reminded that the 650 would be split by 3, my husband is fine with this. But why so long?


    1. Is this your situation?

      “A stepchild is eligible for benefits only if the stepparent financially supported the stepchild before becoming disabled.

      This means that stepchildren must have been receiving one-half of their support from their stepfather or stepmother.”

      If yes, you can make another appointment at your local office or contact your congressperson and they can inquire for you:


      1. Hi!!! Yes he was disabled before we got married but then I read this….

        .) There is one exception to this rule: if the child was born after the marriage, but was conceived before the marriage occurred, and the stepparent isn’t the child’s biological parent, Social Security will pay benefits to the stepchild based on the stepparent’s earnings record.

        Dependents benefits. To be eligible for dependents benefits, the stepchild needs to have been a stepchild of the stepparent who is insured for Social Security for at least one year before the child can apply for benefits (in other words, the child’s parents must have been legally married for at least a year). The amount of the dependents benefit for a stepchild can be up to 50% of the stepparent’s monthly benefit. However, if other family members, such as the stepchild’s sibling or biological parent, are receiving a monthly Social Security benefit, the amount will be less, because there is a family maximum on benefits.


        1. Sorry for the delay in response.

          Did you show the worker this rule when you applied? If not, you might make another appointment and bring this rule if you feel you meet the criteria.

          You can also contact congressperson and ask them to do a status check on your current request. If possible, show them proof of the date it was submitted.

          I hope it goes well for you.


      2. Hi! He was disabled before we got married but then I read this. 🙂
        .) There is one exception to this rule: if the child was born after the marriage, but was conceived before the marriage occurred, and the stepparent isn’t the child’s biological parent, Social Security will pay benefits to the stepchild based on the stepparent’s earnings record.

        Dependents benefits. To be eligible for dependents benefits, the stepchild needs to have been a stepchild of the stepparent who is insured for Social Security for at least one year before the child can apply for benefits (in other words, the child’s parents must have been legally married for at least a year). The amount of the dependents benefit for a stepchild can be up to 50% of the stepparent’s monthly benefit. However, if other family members, such as the stepchild’s sibling or biological parent, are receiving a monthly Social Security benefit, the amount will be less, because there is a family maximum on benefits.


        1. I’m sorry I don’t know these rules well. If he was disabled before the marriage, then he can’t have been born after the marriage?

          I am not seeing how he is eligible… but I may be misunderstanding. If you think he is eligible, your congressperson’s office should be able to help you with the delay.

          Hope it goes well for you.


  6. Does anyone know how to get your question posted on here. I’ve asked several and dont see anything showing up. I thought it would if I subscribed but still nothing. I guess I’ll unsubscribe.


  7. I just recently got approved for both SSI and SSDI. I also received a letter in the mail saying i could get benefits for my daughter who is 2 years old. However I just recently found out that she is still on her fathers insurance who is not around or in contact. I believe it’s from before. Will this affect benefits for my child? I do not want to tell her father I’m receiving benefits for personal reasons. We dont ever talk.


    1. I’m sorry for the delayed response. I hope this worked out for you. I don’t see why insurance would make any difference, as long as you have proof her residence is with you. They will not notify your child’s father.


  8. my husband was just awarded full disability, we have a child who is disabled as well but I work full time, what other assistances are we able to receive & does this mean my son & husband are now covered through the States insurance, rather me paying out of pocket for them? any info would be helpful i went through the sections that seemed to be about what i need to know but still dont see the info>


    1. Hi Bre,

      I’m sorry for the delayed response. Hopefully you have figured this out by now. There’s information on more things to know after you get approved here:

      I’m not aware of any way that this would change your child’s insurance. If your child’s care needs are severe, you could look into whether they qualify for a Medicaid waiver program. The waiver programs do not count parental income, and they provide home aides plus Medicaid healthcare. They are not available in all states. You can find more about this ad

      Your husband should become eligible for Medicare. I hope it goes well for your family.


  9. I was recently approved for SSDI. When a SSA rep called to take my child benefits application by phone, due to limited mobility, she asked if my husband was working. He’s age 44 currently unemployed receiving state benefits, EDD in CA. She looked up his work credit and said he’d made about 50K year in the past, so if his unemployment was temporary it’d be best to apply for only child benefits. The rep told me the benefits are the same allotment for both my “young spouse”, as she referred to him, and child paid from my taxes paid into SSDI, the benefit is split between them. As he plans on finding work, she said I should apply for only my child and the whole benefit amount would be issued to her and he wouldn’t have to be removed or report when he starts working. So that is what we did but my spouse has to sign a disclaimer or agreement. Have you heard it explained that way before? My daughter was on my original application, the rep said she would be eligible for backpay. I’m 43, fully favorable as of March 2019, I was earning about 50K year prior to filing.


    1. I do not know a lot about spousal benefits. I believe that if spouse and child are both drawing benefits, the total number can be higher then if it is just one person drawing.

      Maximum family benefit can go up to 180%. That includes 100% going to you. So in theory, two people could draw 40% each, instead of one person drawing 50%. The formula is complicated, and I don’t know if they go up to the 180% in all cases.

      If the spouse goes back to work, the amount of spousal benefits may decrease or eliminate, depending on how much he earns, then the child’s benefit would return to 50%.


    2. P.S. I am not certain, but they might count state benefits as earnings. If he’s collecting a decent amount of state benefits, the worker may be right that it is not worth it for him to apply for spousal.


  10. I became disabled as a minor and received SSI. I was a foster child. I had children when I was 27 and then started receiving SSDI in 2010
    Only 445ssdi and also SSI of 364. I’m an only parent no other income .can my children receive dependent income?


    1. You can apply at your local office. Unfortunately, when SSDI is very low, sometimes children are not eligible for benefits. Sorry I don’t understand the formula for why this happens.


  11. Hi. I applied for SSDI 6/29/18 for Major Depression, Anxiety, Seizure disorder both grandmal and petitemal but which are controlled better now with new medication since originally applying, degenerative disc disease as well as radicular spinal nerve pain along with osteophytes that send electrical like pain from base of neck into left shoulder arm and hand along with numbness and tingling. I do have great nerve damage and carpal tunnel in both hands as well. They didn’t submit an SSI application until 8/28/18. I just saw their Psychologist for Mental exam. During this 13 minutes exam, anytime I started answering the docs questions he would rush my answers and not allow me to finish my answers nor give much of any explanations at all. I have a very long and complex mental health record. He didn’t allow me to input my complete medication list only the few that were for my mental issues or mood disorder and seizure condition. If I had more than 1 symptom he would only allow me to say 2 before cutting me off and into next question. He is the exact same doc I had the same exam with back in 2011 I complained about when they denied me but missed the appeal deadline and had a state social worker tell me at that time if I was too disabled to work full-time then I was too disabled to have custody of my own children. Of course I refused to fight for my ssdi back then and decided to try help with voc-rehab. The Voc Rehab worked to keep custody of my children but only helped me for a few months before the typical calling in sick for no apparent visual reason,
    isolating depression and anxiety symptoms began overwhelming me. Needless to say they took my children and I was deemed too mentally unstable to properly care for them and I signed away my parental rights and allowed for a very loving family to adopt them. After multiple 4 day long psycological KATS testing at the University by a team of like 11 specific psych associates said I was too mentally unstable and unable to maintain good decision making…
    I looked yesterday on 2/9/19 and it stated Step 3/3 I was denied on 2/8/19 for SSI and seeming like a generic paragraph underneath as it stated if I wished to appeal my medical decision within 60 days, etc. blah blah blah. Wait,!!!!! *”medical”* decision? I had just seen their pysch doc 3 days prior on 2/5/19 to this updated SSI denial online. Yet for SSDI it says a medical decision has been made and we are working to process your application still on stage 2/3… Is this online denial 60 day appeal paragraph, under the “denied” tab, a generic that always states if you wish to appeal your medical denial on it? Or does this specific appeal paragraph change its wording depending on reason for denial? I currently have zero earned income but do have my boyfriend who stays here off and on and is helping me pay all my bills until I get accepted for benefits. I did receive a $6000 insurance settlement back in 9/1/18 though. Right now I’m receiving SNAP and Medicaid so I’m confused. Is it possible I am still able to be approved for SSDI and SSI was denied over financial? And the paragraph at bottom explaining if I wanted to appeal the decision, ” if you wish to appeal your medical denial you may file an appeal online” is this a standard generic message that always says that or would it say non medical if it was for financial ? I believe my total monthly benefit amount is around $1280, my singled out benefit for myself disability was around $840. I do have 1 child who is 3 that I am still her legal parent yet she lives with a cousin of mine. I did list her on paperwork and case worker asked for address where she lived and name of person in whom she lives with. Whenever I finally get approved for either, will I be the one to have to request my daughter to receive my benefits or my cousin has to since she is the one with legal court ordered temp. custody? Can you PleAse tell me if this denial sounds like it is indeed a medical denial or the appeal online paragraph under “Denied” is a generic, never word changing, and always states the same even if denial is for financial/assets. Thanks a bunch! I just don’t see why I wasn’t listed as denied for medical under SSDI at same time. Less than 72 hours after seeing their doc they already had made a medical decision on SSI but why not SSDI at same time too?


    1. I’m sorry I don’t have a way to know. It is common to have a decision soon after an appointment with their doctor. Hopefully it will update and you will get a letter soon.


      1. Honey I went thru the same thing, very similar health problems except I had a major heart condition on top on seizures after I was denied 3 times I finally just called Binder & Binder yes they took 15,000 from my settlement but I still one in court and my children and i got a nice back pay check and we all get checks from SSD I have work my whole life up until I was 39 and had to have my 1st open heart surgery, but after awhile it gets so frustrating I couldn’t take it and I made the call! They make it to hard for us!!!


  12. Hi sleepy girl if my child does receive back pay for being a dependent of a disabled parent what can the money be used for?


  13. my brother eventually signed up for ssdi benefits due to her memory loss later diagnosed as early onset alzheimers after she died at age 40.

    mayo clinic took 4-5 months to do brain autopsy.

    he got ssdi benefits for their 2 kids. you need to KEEP RECORDS on the things you buy for your kids with this money.

    he was putting it in a special account and paying out his regular money. so it was a mess later on when taxes were due to be done. so fyi only.

    in his, daughter received until age 18; son only until age 16 !!

    betty gordon, iowa

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello, how long between adding her and receiving the back pay? My daughter’s father recently was approved and got his. We just added my daughter and his other child two weeks ago. She is graduating next year and I really need it to pay for her pictures and grad stuff in December.


    1. Hi Ana, I don’t know the answer. I imagine it varies a lot by local office. Backpay is typically 1-3 months, but I’m not sure if depedent benefits are the same.


  15. I don’t know if anyone knows this, but, if you get a relatively low amount for SSDI , such as mine is at 623. they won’t give it to your children, they said I did not have enough credits then I was also told there would not be enough money for others to get it which made me very mad.


    1. Thank you for sharing this, Laura. Yes, I have met other people this has happened too. I will update this page. At that amount, you would be eligible for some SSI as well, however if you or your spouse has other income it would not be possible.


  16. When I first applied in 2010, I had 3 dependents. Since then, 2 have aged out and I’ve acquired a grandchild I have custody of, but not adopted. I wonder if I’ll get the backpay for the children who aged out?


    1. Hi Adasha,

      I do not know a lot in.this area, but my understanding is it will depend if your children were listed on your initial application. I assume they will have your application in the system and be able to see if the children were listed there.

      If you run into problems, you can show them the reg which discusses retroactive payment for children:

      I could be wrong, that is what I have seen happen with others – the child needs to be listed to get the back pay. It does not matter if they are now over age 18.

      Please let us know if you try it and how things go.

      For a grandchild, I believe they can give benefits if: child is adopted or parents are deceased or parents are disabled.

      hope it goes well for you.


  17. This happened to us as well. My husband began receiving his SSDI benefit in February 2014. We had a lawyer and everything but NO ONE told us about the child benefit. We even listed our son on my husband’s original application. I guess we fell through the cracks (I’ve read that some people receiving a letter reminding them to apply at the SSA office or over the phone, but we never received anything). We applied for my son at the local SSA office 6 weeks ago and we have not had any correspondence. My husband has called the SSA line twice and both times the status was “processing,” whatever that means. The rep on the phone said it normally takes 60-90 days to begin receiving correspondence and then the benefit. I am so frustrated by this!


  18. How long did it take to get the approval for the dependent benefits. We have only been waiting 55 days, but like you I get nervous


  19. I have an important question for “sleepygirl” that I would rather ask via email. Could you PLEASE contact me at the email address I am providing? Thank you!


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