Auxiliary Benefits

By: Disability Group

If you have been awarded Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) from the Social Security Administration (SSA), your children also may be able to qualify for benefits under your own Social Security number.  Your child needs to be dependent on the parent who is receiving monthly benefits in order to qualify.  The benefit paid to the child is determined by the earning record of the parent and how much he or she has paid into Social Security; typically the amount is one half of the monthly benefit paid to the disabled parent.  Social Security calls these monthly payments paid to the dependent child of a disabled worker “auxiliary benefits.” 

A child is dependant under Social Security’s rules if:

  • The child is the legitimate child of the worker and has not been legally adopted by someone else during his or her life.
  • The child is younger than 18.


  • A child born out of wedlock but is able to inherit property from the disabled worker.
  • A child born from a voidable marriage or an invalid ceremonial marriage.
  • An adopted child that has been legally adopted before the worker was found disabled.

Natural born children are not the only dependents eligible for auxiliary benefits.  In some cases, grandchildren and stepchildren can also qualify for these benefits under Social Security’s rules.  In all cases, proof has to be shown that the child is dependent on the disabled worker. 

  • For stepchildren, proof has to be shown that the child is at least half dependant on the step-parent.   
  • For grandchildren, the child has to have begun living with the grandparent before the age 18 and lived with the grandparent for at least one year before the grandparent became entitled to benefits. The child has to have been receiving at least one-half support from the grandparent.

Once the child has reached the age 18, auxiliary benefits will stop.  Similarly, if the disabled worker returns to work, all payments will stop—including the benefits for the dependent children.  It is also important to note that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not provide auxiliary benefits to the children of the disabled.