Parents of adult children who are disabled and cannot care for themselves can turn to Social Security Disability programs for financial assistance. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program for individuals who were never able to work for a living due to congenital or acquired disabilities. Many individuals who receive SSI payments are adults whose parents have obtained government assistance on their behalf.
An adult who had some years of employment before becoming disabled may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The SSDI program also pays benefits to individuals who become disabled in young adulthood, which are not dependent on a work record.
The Social Security Administration has several qualifications for each program, including requirements based on age and income. These are complex programs that can be difficult and time-consuming to enroll in, but the Kentucky Social Security Disability attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can help.
We can handle the paperwork and legwork required to file a claim on your family’s behalf with respect and dignity. We can counsel you about technical steps that may be necessary to ensure that your adult child qualifies for benefits. Our disability attorneys can represent you at any hearings about your application.
If you live in Kentucky and have an adult child at home who can’t work for a living, call us today at (877) 809-5352 for your free consultation about SSI or SSDI payments your family has a right to benefit from.
SSI Payments for Disabled Children and Adults
The Supplemental Security Income program makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are disabled, 65 years old or older, or blind.
A child younger than age 18 may qualify for SSI if they have a medical condition or combination of conditions that meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if his or her income and resources (i.e., family income and assets) fall within the eligibility limits. Upon reaching age 18, only the SSI recipient’s or applicant’s personal income, including any income from their spouse, is taken into consideration.
As of December 2018, there were more than 174,000 Kentuckians receiving SSI payments, of whom 24,552 were younger than 18 and 116,912 were age 18 to 64.
SSDI Adult Child Benefits
The Social Security Disability Insurance program pays benefits to individuals who become disabled before age 22. For a disabled adult to become entitled to this benefit, one of his or her parents must:
- Be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits
- Have died and have worked enough to qualify for Social Security.
These SSDI disabled adult “child” benefits continue as long as the beneficiary remains disabled.
As of December 2019, nearly 12.3 million people aged 18-64 were receiving Social Security disability benefits on the basis of their own disability.
Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits for Your Adult Child
For a child younger than 18 to qualify for Supplemental Security Income, their medical condition(s) must be disabling or be expected to be disabling for at least 12 months, or the condition(s) must be expected to cause their death. They must also not be earning more than $1,260 a month or, if they are blind, $2,110 a month.
A few of the conditions that may qualify include:
- Total blindness
- Total deafness
- Cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Severe intellectual disability (child age 4 or older)
- Symptomatic HIV infection.
At age 18, a child who is receiving SSI undergoes a medical review in which adult disability rules are applied to decide whether they remain eligible for SSI. For a person who is truly disabled, the main qualifier is their income and personal assets.
Income limits vary by state, and Kentucky sets a $522 monthly income limit for someone who gets help paying for food and lives at home. However, certain earnings are exempted from what counts as income.
Similarly, some resources don’t count toward SSI’s resource limit, like the home the applicant lives in and one vehicle. If the applicant’s disability began before they turned 26, they can open an ABLE account, which can hold up to $100,000 in resources that will not be counted as part of an SSI application.
You can apply for SSI for your child by visiting one of the more than two dozen Social Security field offices in Kentucky or by contacting the Social Security Administration by phone at 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TTY).
You must be prepared to document your child’s medical condition, including records of medical tests, prescriptions, and an explanation of how the medical condition affects your child’s daily life. You’ll need to provide names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and others who have treated your child.
You’ll also be questioned and asked for proof of any savings, stocks, bonds, real estate, or other resources held in your child’s name.
You will also need to provide documents that show:
- Proof of your child’s birth or adoption
- Proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship or lawful residency status
- Your child’s Social Security number
- Proof of any earnings your child had in the prior year, e.g., a W-2 form
- Information about other benefits your child receives
- Information pertaining to your bank account, so you can enroll in direct deposit
If your child is older than 22, you must complete the Adult Disability Report and the Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration.
Contact a KY Disabled Adult Child Social Security Benefits Lawyer Today
Applying for Social Security benefits always requires gathering and providing documentation to demonstrate the applicant’s eligibility, as well as answering questions and completing forms. Errors or omissions can stall an application and delay needed payments.
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, our disability benefits attorneys can help you throughout the entire process of compiling and submitting an application for SSI or SSDI benefits for your child and represent you at a hearing if the claim has been denied. We can take this burden off of you and ensure it is done right the first time.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation about how we can assist with your child’s disability benefits application.