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SSDI Disability benefits for an adult who is disabled prior to age 22

Adult Physically Disabled Week 2 :: AHIF

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is offered to claimants who have a severe mental or physical health condition which is expected to keep them from working for at least 12 continuous months and who have paid and contributed enough in FICA taxes and earned enough “work credits” to be considered insured by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and you have paid enough into the SSA system your minor dependents may, under specific conditions, be able to receive what the Social Security Administration calls “auxiliary benefits.” Your child can be able bodied or disabled to receive these benefits.

What if my child is disabled?


What if your child is disabled? If they are disabled prior to the age of 22 and you are receiving SSDI benefits, SSA retirement benefits or you are deceased the disabled child may continue to receive a child’s disability benefit based on your Social Security Earnings record past the age of 18 or the age when other non-disabled children will no longer be eligible for SSDI auxiliary benefits.

Does the child have to have a work record? No, they do not have to earn work credits or have a work history but they also cannot be currently employed and performing substantial gainful activity. If they are working too much or making too much money the Social Security Administration would consider them automatically not disabled and deny their case.

Additionally, the SSA must determine that the “adult child” meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, they cannot be married and their disability must have started prior to the age of 22.

What if the parent is receiving SSI and not SSDI?


Supplemental Security Income is given to disabled applicants who do not have a work history or who have not acquired enough work credits to qualify for SSDI but who are considered disabled and cannot work for at least 12 continuous months.

If your child is disabled and you do not receive Social Security Disability Insurance, you are not retired or not deceased than your child’s only option is to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Because this program is for low income claimants, if your child lives with you, it is likely that your family’s resource and income level may be too high and your child will not be eligible for the SSI benefits program.

If you are getting SSI benefits and you have a disabled child, they will not be entitled to SSDI auxiliary “adult child” benefits. This is always a point of confusion, but SSI recipients do NOT receive auxiliary benefits for their dependent children. This means that if you are getting SSI you did not have enough work credits for SSDI and your children will not be awarded any additional benefits.They would, instead, have to apply for SSI benefits.

How does my child apply for “adult child” benefits?


If you have a disabled child, who became disabled prior to the age of 22, you will have to contact the SSA to get an application for disability benefits You cannot apply for these benefits online.
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