For years, you’ve paid Social Security taxes. If you become disabled and unable to work, you deserve Social Security Disability benefits. But obtaining disability from Social Security can be complicated and frustrating for inexperienced applicants. Many are initially denied. A knowledgeable Social Security Disability lawyer can guide you and take the guesswork out of the process.
Cotton, Castano & Richardson assists people from the initial application for Social Security Disability benefits through review by an administrative law judge and on through the appeals process.
If your child is disabled and has never worked, he or she may be able to obtain Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits based on your work record once he or she turns 18. By speaking with an attorney and learning about SSD benefits for disabled adult children, you could help your child get significantly more annual benefits.
‘Adult Children’ May Qualify for Additional SSD Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two benefits programs for disabled people. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested program. Applicants qualify for SSI benefits only if they have a low income and their personal resources are less than $2,000. The maximum individual SSI benefit is $721 per month as of 2014.
For disabled children under 18, SSI is the only disability benefit available. A minor child may qualify only if the family meets the means test.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the second type of benefit available for disabled people. These benefits are earned by paying payroll taxes. Claimants must have a work record to qualify. The benefits are often higher than SSI because the monthly payment is based on past earnings.
Children who are disabled when young are unlikely to have earned enough income to qualify for the higher SSDI benefits. However, a child may be able to qualify for SSDI benefits based on his or her mother or father’s work history if certain criteria are met. This includes adoptive parents. In some cases, an adult child may qualify based on a grandparent’s work history.
To qualify for adult child benefits, the applicant must:
- Have been disabled before he or she turned 22.
- Be unmarried.
- Have a condition that falls within the SSA’s narrow definition of “disabled”.
- To be eligible for SSD benefits, an adult child must not engage in work that amounts to “substantial gainful activity.” The SSA defines “substantial” as income of more than $1,070 per month as of 2014.
The SSA’s “Blue Book” lists impairments that may make a person eligible for benefits. Part A of the Blue Book contains a listing of adult disabilities. Part B contains a listing of childhood disabilities.
A child must have had a condition listed in Part B when he or she was under the age of 18 in order to be considered disabled. Once the child is over 18, he or she must have a condition listed in Part A. Each listed condition lists certain symptoms that must accompany it.
If your child’s disability is not listed, then the condition must be medically equivalent in severity to those on the list. Your child must have met the SSA’s definition of a disabled child when under 18, and the SSA’s definition of a disabled adult once he or she is over 18, in order to be eligible for adult child benefits.