Children and Social Security Disability

August 7, 2017

Social Security Administration (SSA) is here to help people with disabilities.  The SSA does not give help to individuals who need help automatically; there are rules and procedures for both adults and children.

Children generally cannot receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.  SSD generally applies to disabled adult workers who have worked for a certain amount of time. However, children can receive SSD benefits if they:

  • Are unmarried
  • Are younger than eighteen
  • Are eighteen or nineteen and a full-time student in twelfth grade or lower
  • Are eighteen and have a disability, which preceded their 22nd birthday

Children generally stop receiving SSD benefits upon their eighteenth birthday, but disabled eighteen-year-olds can retain SSD benefits. Moreover, children, still in school at age eighteen, can keep receiving SSD benefits up until their graduation or nineteenth birthday.

How can children become eligible for Social Security Disability?

Three types of children can qualify for SSD benefits:

  • Disabled children from low-income families
  • Adults with lifelong disabilities since childhood
  • Children ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Both disabled and non-disabled Children, under age eighteen, with parents receiving disability income or retirement benefits may qualify for dependents benefits based on their parents’ social security history.

Once children become legal adults at age eighteen, whether they remain eligible for SSD depends on whether they have a preexisting disability before their 22nd birthday and/or have enough work history. In addition, children older than eighteen can receive SSD benefits if they previously received benefits based on their parents’ history. Whether adult children qualify is based on how the SSA defines adults with disabilities, not how it defines children with disabilities. Moreover, whether adult children had been employed is not a factor.

How much money do children get for Social Security Disability?

Children with disabled parents get as much money for SSD benefits as their disabled parents do. Children generally get fifty percent of their disabled parents’ benefits. However, they cannot get more than 150% or 180% of their disabled parents’ benefits; if they do get more than 150% or 180%, they slowly will get less money until they get less than 150% or 180%.

Both adults and children can receive benefits from the SSA, and in some circumstances a child’s eligibility depends on his or her parents’ records while in other circumstances it does not.

If you or a loved one needs help getting disability benefits in the Philadelphia area, contact the Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW. We proudly serve our clients in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.