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Disabled Adult Child Benefits

If you are an adult disabled child and were disabled before age 22, you may be eligible for child's benefits if your parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. The Social Security Administration considers this a "child's" benefit because it is paid on a parent's Social Security earnings record.

To receive benefits, it is not necessary that you have worked during your lifetime. However, if you do work, you cannot have substantial earnings. The definition of "substantial" in regards to substantial earnings is determined by the Social Security Administration; in 2012, the amount considered "substantial" by the Social Security Administration was earnings of over $1010 per month.

Additionally, if you already receive disability benefits on your own earnings record, you should still see if benefits may be payable on your parent's earnings record. Higher benefits may be available on your parent's record. However, if your parent has never worked, then no benefits would be available to you on your parent's record.

To qualify for child's benefits as an adult disabled child, the Social Security Administration requires that the "adult child" (including an adopted child, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild) meet the following:

  • Must be unmarried;
  • Be age 18 or older; and
  • Have a disability that started before age 22.

It is important to know that the Social Security Administration will use the same standard to determine the adult child's disability as they do to determine eligibility for an adult applying for disability benefits. You must show the following to be considered disabled under the Social Security Administration's standard:

  • You have a disability that has lasted 12 months, is expected to last 12 months, or is expected to result in death, and
  • Your impairment, or the treatment for your impairment, causes you to be unable to perform substantial work.

If you, the disabled adult child, get married, you will likely no longer receive disabled adult child benefits. However, if you get married to another disabled adult child, you may still be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. Contact us today to learn how the experienced attorneys at Howard Law, PC can help you.