When Do Mother’s Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

When Do Mother’s Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Mothers are typically considered as natural caretakers when their spouses or their children have disabilities. If you are a mother and either your spouse or your child has a disability, then you could collect mother’s disability benefits. However, there are a lot of requirements that you will have to meet in order to be eligible for mother’s disability benefits, and there are a few disqualifying factors that you should be aware of as well.

Qualifying for Mother’s Disability Benefits

In order to receive mother’s disability benefits if your spouse has passed, your spouse must have been eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and you will need to have a child in care. That child must either be under the age of 16 or be disabled. More specifically, you will have to have parental control and responsibility for your child’s health and wellbeing or provide personal services for a child over 16 who is physically disabled.

Parental control and responsibility is a term that covers a range of responsibilities as a mother, meaning that you must be able to prove that you have a strong interest in raising your child properly, have control in their development, oversee their activities, and are actively involved in meeting the child’s physical needs and helping with their mental growth.

If you are raising a disabled child, then you need to prove that you regularly clean, feed or dress them, that you manage their activities and their funds, and that you have to be physically present for the child as a result of their disability. Additional mother’s disability benefits requirements that you will need to meet besides being able to prove that you have a child under 16 or a child over 16 with disabilities in your care include the following:

  • You must be unmarried.
  • You must meet the marriage duration requirement with the deceased spouse.
  • You cannot be entitled to higher Social Security retirement benefits.
  • You cannot be entitled to the widow’s benefit.

Applying for Mother’s Disability Benefits

In order to apply for mother’s disability benefits, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (or of lawful alien status)
  • Proof of marriage to the deceased
  • Proof of your spouse’s death
  • Child’s birth certificate (or other proof of birth)
  • W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for the last year

You may also be required to provide U.S. military discharge papers if applicable and a final divorce decree if you’re applying as a surviving divorced mother.

How Much You Can Receive

The benefit amount will be based on a percentage of your deceased spouse’s full retirement age amount. The starting monthly amount is the same percentage that each child is eligible to receive, which is 75 percent of the deceased person’s full retirement age amount. If you or your spouse received Social Security benefits already or if several people are receiving survivor benefits, then the amount may be lower.

The maximum that you can receive is 150 to 180 percent of the basic benefit amount of the deceased spouse, although it is based on individual work records. Additionally, if you are employed, then your payable benefits may be lowered depending on the annual earnings test.

These are some of the things that you will want to know about applying and qualifying for mother’s disability benefits in case your spouse passes away and you are taking care of a child. For more advice on applying for SSDI, reach out to us at (602) 952-3200 to set up a free consultation at Social Security Disability Advocates USA today.

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