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There can be 2 sources of benefits for a disabled child over 18

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2021 | Social Security Disability

If you have a disabled child who is about to turn 18, you probably have questions about what benefits they can claim. If they are fully disabled from working, they may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as an adult with a disability. There is also a chance they could receive child benefits through your Social Security account. If they qualify for both, they would receive the higher benefit.

Your child may already be receiving SSI benefits. People under 18 who have a qualifying disability can receive SSI. Once they turn 18 (or 19, if they are still in school at 18), they must qualify separately as a disabled adult.

However, in many situations it is possible for them to claim child benefits on their parent’s Social Security account. These benefits may be higher than those available through SSI, and Medicare may be available. This only applies to people whose disabilities were apparent before age 22.

Here is an example. If you have reached retirement age (or if a parent is deceased), your adult child on SSI may begin collecting benefits through your account instead of their own. These are called “child benefits” because they come from a parent’s Social Security account.

This could allow your adult child to obtain more in benefits than they would receive from SSI. Additionally, they could be entitled to Medicare, as opposed to Medicaid, health coverage.

In order to qualify for benefits though a parent’s account, an adult child must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Have been disabled before age 22
  • Meet the criteria for an adult with a disability

Generally, this means they must be completely disabled from work for at least a year.

The benefits your adult child receives through your Social Security account will generally end if they are able to earn a substantial amount (currently over $1,310) or if they get married.

If your child with a disability is about to become an adult, talk to an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at Miller Cohen, P.L.C. about their options for support.