The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits to individuals who have become disabled, and they also provide family benefits in certain circumstances. When the child is an adult, they could qualify for disabled adult child benefits. These benefits are available for individuals who are disabled and have parents receiving Social Security benefits. The amount of benefits received is based on the earnings of the parent receiving Social Security benefits and the beneficiary may be able to collect Social Security Disability benefits based on the parent’s earnings record.

Individuals wishing to apply for benefits for their child should always speak to a Kentucky disability lawyer who has the Kentucky Courage to fight for them. Call Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer now for a free discussion about how we can help you.

Benefits Eligibility for Adults Disabled Since Childhood

Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, adults who were disabled before reaching the age of 22 may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits based on their parents’ earning records. Although the individual is an adult when they apply, they are considered a child for the purpose of receiving these benefits because the amount they receive is based on their parent’s income.

To receive these benefits, the disabled adult child must show that one of their parents is receiving Social Security retirement benefits or SSDI benefits. Disabled adult children can also show that one of their parents died after working enough to qualify for Social Security.

When a child received benefits as a minor based on their parent’s Social Security record, they can continue to receive those benefits once they turn 18 if they still suffer from a disability. The SSA will determine if they are disabled based on the criteria they use for disabled adults.

There is no requirement that disabled adult children work in order to receive benefits for disabled adults living with parents. However, if the child gets married, this could affect their eligibility status.

Disability Benefits When a Child Turns 18

The SSA considers a minor child an adult once they have turned 18 years of age. After that time, the SSA will use varying medical and non-medical criteria to determine if the child can receive SSI disability payments.

The income and resources of family members, such as their parents, are not taken into consideration at this time. If there is a spouse, that is the only family member’s income that will be taken into consideration. The SSA will consider only the spouse’s income and the adult’s income. The SSA will also use the same rules for adults when determining if someone is disabled.

When a child is receiving SSI benefits before they turn 18, after their 18th birthday, the SSA will review the child’s medical condition. They will again use the same criteria for determining if an adult is disabled, and the SSA will conduct their review within one year of the child turning 18.

Sometimes minor children are not eligible for SSI prior to their 18th birthday because their parents make too much income. However, after they turn 18, they may then become eligible to receive these benefits.

How to Apply for Disabled Child Benefits

Anyone can apply for child benefits by calling the SSA or by visiting a local Social Security field office. It is advised that when visiting the Social Security office, you bring along a number of documents, such as:

  • Proof of the child’s birth or adoption
  • Proof of the child’s U.S. citizenship or lawful residency status
  • Tax documents, such as a W-2 form, if the child had earnings in the year prior
  • Information pertaining to your bank account, so you can enroll in direct deposit and receive benefits sooner

When the child is over the age of 22, you should also complete the Adult Disability Report and the Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration. Although medical documents and tax documents can be photocopied, the SSA requires that you provide originals of all other documents. They will return the originals to you.

When the child is still under the age of 18, a parent will need to complete an Application for Supplemental Security Income, which is not available online. A Child Disability Report will also have to be completed, and this form is available online. At the end of this report, you will need to sign a form that provides the child’s doctor with permission to provide the SSA information about the child’s disability.

You will also have to contact the SSA as soon as possible to determine if your income and resources are within the allowed limits when beginning the SSI application process.

How Does Working Affect Disabled Child Social Security Benefits?

Before a child turns 18, working will not affect their Social Security benefits. This is due to the fact that up until that point, only the parents’ income is considered when determining if a disabled child is eligible. Once a child turns 18 however, their disability is evaluated in the same manner as all other adults.

This means that if they are receiving SSD benefits, those benefits will likely be discontinued. This is due to the fact that these benefits are only available when someone is so severely disabled that they are unable to work for one year or more.

However, after the child turns 18, they may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These benefits are available for disabled individuals who have limited resources and means to pay for their daily living expenses. The SSA will determine how much income the child has made from working, and determine how much in SSI benefits they can be awarded.

Talk to a Disabled Adult Child Social Security Benefits Lawyer Today

Applying for Social Security is always difficult. Applying for a child, however, presents its own unique challenges. If your child is disabled and requires assistance, it’s important that you speak to a Kentucky disability lawyer today.

At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, we will help you throughout the entire process from the application to the appeal, if necessary. We will always let you know what to expect and give you and your child the best chance of a successful outcome.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation to learn more about how we can assist with your child’s application.