A child, under the age of 18, may qualify for benefits as their parent’s dependent. These benefits usually end when the child turns 18, or 19 if they are still in high school. However, if the child is disabled before the age of 22, they may be eligible for further benefits.
An adult who is found disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child’s benefits. Requirements of this include the parent being deceased or currently receiving Social Security retirement or Social Security disability benefits. This is still considered a child’s benefit because they are paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
When being evaluated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) an adult child may include a stepchild, an adopted child, and even a grandchild or step grandchild. This adult child must be age 18 or older, not be married, and have a disability that started before age 22 that meets the definition of disability for adults.
If an adult child receiving benefits gets married, the benefits may be discontinued. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Also, the SSA can perform continuing disability reviews (CDRs) to determine if the disabled beneficiaries still meet the medical requirements for eligibility. If the adult child continues to meet the medical requirements, then benefits will continue. However, if medical improvement is found, these benefits may be terminated.
In summary, children 18 years of age or older who have been disabled before they turned 22 and continue to be disabled, may be eligible for Social Security benefits if their parent is retired, disabled, or deceased. These Social Security disability benefits for the child may continue as long as they are unmarried (some exceptions), and as long as they are unable to work due to their disability.
For more information, please contact one of the attorneys at Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik.