Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI for short, is a government-sponsored benefit offered to children and adults with confirmed disabling conditions. Most of the time it is very difficult to get, which is why so many SS disability lawyers offer their services. If your lawyer has successfully helped you get an acceptance letter from the Social Security office, you should know that the next step the office takes is in determining how much your benefits should be and how they are disbursed

Your Total Amount

If your family consists of you alone in one apartment or house, then your total benefit amount is all yours. It is calculated based on the number of work credits you have earned from doing work. If you have been disabled since childhood, then your amount is based on your monthly expenses and what you need to survive each month. If you do not have enough work credits and you were not disabled prior to adulthood, then the Social Security office looks at your potential ability to return to work, the probability of your death from your disabling condition, and/or if your condition has left you blind or deaf.

Your Total Amount, Split

If you are married, then your spouse is entitled to a portion of your benefits. No, this does not mean that your spouse continues to receive that portion of your benefits after a divorce. It is only given to your spouse for as long as you and your spouse are married. The assumption is that your spouse is acting as your caregiver, and/or that your spouse is counted as a "dependent" on your taxes. In the event that you were to divorce, the total sum would be exclusively yours again, and your spouse would not receive anything.

If your spouse works, then he or she would receive a smaller portion of your benefits. This prevents the household income from exceeding the allotted amount of benefits the Social Security office deems appropriate to your circumstances and household finances. While your portion continues relatively unaffected, his/her portion shrinks because he/she is bringing in extra income.

Your Total Amount, Plus Kids

Like your spouse's portion, your dependents (i.e., children) are given a portion of your benefits as well. However, in the case of your dependents, your household size is increased. Household size directly affects your total amount of benefits, which means that while the extra number of people increases your benefits, the extra is split among your total number of dependents equally for their support. If a child moves out of the house, turns eighteen, or your spouse gets sole custody in the divorce, your children's benefits move with the kids and are transferred to your spouse.

When the Children Also Have Their Own Disabilities

This happens quite a lot. Parents often divorce because the burden of raising special needs children drives a wedge between the parents. It is much worse when a parent him/herself becomes disabled and unable to care for the children. Parents can apply for benefits for children (which may also require the assistance of a Social Security disability lawyer). However, with one parent already disabled, the children's benefits are significantly decreased, as the parent's own disability funds meet the maximum allotted amount by law.

To offset the added expenses of caring for children with disabilities and an adult in the house with a disabling condition, the Social Security office grants SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, to families who show financial need. The SSI comes through the state benefit line. You do not need to apply for it, as the state is notified by the federal government to provide the SSI benefits.