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Helping Disabled Adult Children Navigate SSDI Benefits
No one chooses to collect from social security disability insurance (SSDI). They collect out of necessity. So what happens when you are about to collect your social security and your disabled child is still living with you? Do you just collect your social security and that’s it? What about your child? You’ll need the extra income to maintain (or closely maintain) the life you had while working. At Saffren & Weinberg, we can help you determine if SSID and/or supplemental security income (SSI) is right for your situation. We also handle SSDI disputes, so you can continue to support you and your disabled child.
Ways for Children to Qualify for SSDI
There are two ways a child can qualify for SSDI:
- SSDI Auxiliary Benefits – For children under age 18, these benefits are based on the parent’s social security earnings and/or parent’s disability. The SSDI benefits can be terminated if the parent does not fill out and return a form stating the child is in school (or completed a school term) while collecting.
- “Disabled Adult Child” – After turning 18, the SSA will consider the child to be a “disabled adult child.” This means the child can continue receiving SSDI benefits under this label. Just like SSDI for adults, the SSA requires that there is evidence that the child cannot work and/or will never be able to work. To be a “disabled adult child,” the child must be:
- Be over age 18 and unmarried. However, if the person marries another “disabled adult child,” the person can still collect SSDI benefits.
- Disabled before age 22.
- Have a parent that receives social security benefits or a has parent that died during the time the parent was eligible for social security benefits.
If the child has been disabled since birth (or childhood) and is from a low-income family, the child is eligible only for SSI.
Providing Proof of a Medical Condition to the SSA
Just like retired worker applying for SSDI, the SSA requires that the child meet their definition of being “disabled.” The child’s medical condition must show that he or she cannot work at all, and be listed in the Blue Book. If the disability is not listed in the Blue Book or does not equate to a disability listed in the Blue Book, the SSA will require an examination to determine the “residual function capacity” of the child, which is measuring the functional level of the child.
When an SSDI Claim is Denied
When an SSDI claim for a child is denied, you should not lose hope. The lawyers at Saffren & Weinberg will help with reapplying for benefits or appeal the denied claim. Some of the reasons why a claim is denied include:
- You earn too much money to be considered “disabled.” You earn above the “substantial gainful activity” limit.
- Your disability did not last 12 months or did not meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled.”
- The SSA cannot find you to discuss your application.
- You were convicted of a crime.
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