Ask a Lawyer
Oct 08, 2013 | 1506 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local attorneys, Pat Nelson, Bob Bryan and Allison Jones of Nelson Bryan and Jones, sponsor this weekly column.

If I am approved for Social Security Disability, how much back pay will I get? Frederick S., Jasper

Because the Social Security Administration takes so long to process disability claims, most people who are approved for disability are owed back payments. In addition, if you are approved for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI), you can get retroactive payments from the time you first became disabled, even if you applied for disability much later. Back pay and retroactive benefits can mean thousands of dollars for successful disability applicants.

If I am approved for Social Security Disability, will my children get benefits? Wendy M., Jasper

Under certain circumstances Social Security will provide benefits to your children if you become disabled. Social Security considers biological children, adopted children, or dependent stepchildren to be children of the disabled individual.

A child may receive benefits if they are unmarried and younger than 18 years old. Unmarried children who are 18 years old or older may receive benefits in two circumstances: (1) the child is under 19 years old and enrolled full time as a student in a secondary school; or (2) the child is disabled and the disability occurred before the child turned 22 years old.

If you have grandchildren or step-grandchildren that you are raising, they may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits the same as your child would. Grandchildren may receive benefits if:

• Their biological parents are deceased or disabled

• You provide regular support to the grandchild

• The grandchildren have lived with you for the 12 months before they became eligible for SSDI or, if under 12 months old, they have lived with you for substantially their entire lives, and

• You provide at last half of their financial support.

How much your child receives in benefits depends upon how much money you receive as a SSDI benefit. Generally, your child will receive up to 50% of your total SSDI benefit. There is a maximum amount that a family can receive based on one disabled individual’s benefits. The family limit is usually 150% - 180% of the total SSDI benefit awarded to the disabled individual. If your family would receive above that percentage, each individual receiving a benefit (with the exclusion of the disabled individual) will have their percentage of benefit lowered proportionally until the total benefit is below the percentage limit.

Generally, children will receive dependent SSDI benefits until they reach the age of 18 years old. If your child is a full-time student, the benefit will end when they graduate from or leave secondary school or two months after they turn 19, whichever happens first.

Nelson, Bryan and Jones represents clients in the following areas: Social Security Disability, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Wrongful Death Cases, Personal Injury Actions, Defective Products, Insurance Disputes and Bad Faith, Fire Loss cases, Trucking Accidents, Worker’s Compensation, Drug Recalls, Employment Law and Property Damage Claims.

Please send the questions to: Ask A Lawyer P. O. Box 2309, Jasper, Alabama 35502

205-387-7777 or email to:

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No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.