The costs of caring for a disabled child can be very high. These costs do not end when a child turns 18. Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be available to help meet a disabled child’s needs. There may be different options for SSD benefits available to an adult child. One option may provide greater benefits than another.
It is important to speak with an experienced disability lawyer to ensure that a disabled adult child gets the maximum amount of benefits he or she deserves.
Contact us now for a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We are ready to answer questions such as:
- What types of SSD benefits are available for adult children?
- What do I need to do to get SSD benefits for an adult child?
- How can an SSD lawyer help me?
Types of SSD Benefits Available for Adult Children
Children under age 18 may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if their families have few resources and household income is limited. Minors may also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
SSDI typically requires an applicant to have worked for a sufficiently long period of time to earn work credits. However, children may qualify for SSDI benefits based on their parents’ work record.
SSI monthly benefits are capped at $721 per month, as of 2014, for each eligible individual receiving disability income. SSDI benefits, on the other hand, are based on past wages and may be much higher. For many disabled adult children, SSDI benefits provide more financial support than SSI.
A child who continues to qualify for disability benefits after his or her 18th birthday may sometimes continue to receive the higher benefits based on a parent’s work record. Someone in this situation is considered to be receiving SSD benefits for adult children.
Securing SSD Benefits for Adult Children
Children may receive adult child benefits and continue to receive SSDI income only if certain criteria are met. For example:
- The child must have been considered “disabled” based on the SSA’s definition prior to his or her 22nd birthday. A child who was already receiving disability benefits usually meets this criterion.
- The child must be considered “disabled” based on the covered conditions for adults. When determining if someone is sufficiently disabled to qualify for benefits, the SSA uses the Blue Book or Listing of Impairments. The applicant must have a condition in the Blue Book – or one substantially similar to a listed condition – along with symptoms specified by the SSA. The Blue Book is divided into two parts. Part A addresses adult disabilities, and Part B addresses childhood disabilities. Once a child reaches age 18, it is necessary to ensure that he or she is still considered disabled since the child is now evaluated under Part A.
A child who was not disabled prior to age 22 may not be able to receive SSDI benefits based on a parent’s work history. If your child became disabled after this age, then he or she will either need to qualify based on his or her own work history or will need to apply for SSI benefits if he or she has limited resources and a low income.
SSI and SSDI use the same Blue Book Listing of Impairments, so the definition of disabled is the same for both programs.
How Can an SSD Lawyer Help Me?
A lawyer at Ginarte Gonzalez Winograd L.L.P., can assist you with determining if your child is entitled to SSD benefits for adult children. We can help with the application process so you can have the best chance of getting your claim approved.