When a person becomes seriously injured or sick, it is not just that person who can be affected by the condition. Friends, spouses, children and other family members can also go through some difficult times as they adjust to and compensate for a person’s compromised health, not to mention the added expenses they can take on as a result of increased medical needs.

This can all be quite overwhelming, which is why it is important for Michigan residents to remember that there are resources available to help disabled workers and their families get through such an upsetting time. When and if a person becomes unable to work due to an illness or injury, Social Security disability benefits can be available not only to that individual, but to his or her family as well.

Family benefits reflect the profound impact that a person’s disability can have on his or her loved ones. This can be especially true when the person was perhaps the breadwinner in the family or contributed significantly to the financial security of dependents. If that person is unable to work in the same capacity, his or her family may not be able to pay for basic living essentials, which can ultimately be devastating.

That is why the Social Security Administration can release additional benefits to certain family members (spouses, parents, children and other dependents) of a person collecting SSDI. The money will not necessarily match the amount a person would earn in a regular paycheck; in fact, the payments are typically about half of what the disability benefit amount is.

There is also a maximum amount set on the overall payments that family members can collect, which is about 150-180 percent of the disability benefit. The total sum of payments will be distributed evenly among family members, which would generally mean that the individual payments decrease as the number of recipients increases.

However, like any other process involving Social Security, there can be complications that arise and put benefits at risk. Whether you are pursuing SSDI as a disabled worker or family benefits, it may be wise to speak with an attorney to better understand what is needed for a successful application.