Who Can Claim Social Security Benefits on Your Earnings Record?

Published on: December 2, 2016

Normally, when you sign up for Social Security benefits of any kind, you’re making the application based on your own work history and earnings. However, in some cases, you may be able to claim benefits based on someone else’s Social Security Eanings Record.

Taking care of your family is of the utmost importance, which is why the SSA allows some family members to claim benefits based on your work history.

This begs the question: If you could collect benefits based on someone else’s work history, who can claim benefits based on your work history?

Who’s Eligible for Social Security Benefits On Your Record?

The Social Security Administration’s Disability Benefits guide lays out a list of the people who can claim benefits based on your work history:

  • Your spouse—IF he/she is age 62 or older;
  • A spouse who is caring for your child and that child is younger than 16 years old or is disabled;
  • An unmarried child (including adopted children), stepchild, or grandchild under the age of 18 (19 if in high school);
  • An unmarried child age 18 or older who has a disability that started before the age of 22—this disability must meet the same criteria that the SSA would apply to an adult.
  • An ex-spouse who was married to you for at least 10 years, is currently unmarried, and is at least 62 years or older. This does not reduce your benefit or any benefits due to your current spouse/children.

These potential beneficiaries closely mirror the ones on the list for those eligible for retirement benefits based on your record.

How Could This Affect Your Family?

Say that a member of your family doesn’t have the work history needed to claim Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or retirement benefits. Normally, they would have to rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

However, with access to the ability to apply for Social Security benefits based on your work history, your children, spouse, or ex may be able to claim a higher-paying benefit than what SSI alone might give.

This can help your spouse or children make ends meet a little easier.

Find out more about how your family can benefit from Social Security today!

Breaking Down Work Credits for Social Security Disability Insurance Guide

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