Collecting Social Security Disability Benefits for Your Child

January 22, 2016

If you are disabled and collecting Social Security Disability benefits, you may be able to collect additional benefits on behalf of your child. The Social Security Administration recognizes not only biological children, but stepchildren, adopted children and, in some cases, dependent grandchildren as potentially able to claim benefits. In order to qualify, your unmarried child must:



  • Be 18 years old or younger, or
  • Be a full-time student (up through but not past grade 12) between the ages of 18 and 19, or
  • Be at least 18 years old with a disability whose symptoms manifested before the age of 22

In other words, if you collect Social Security Disability benefits in Philadelphia, and you have a 16 year old child, you may be able to claim additional benefits – up to half of your monthly amount – each month to help you care for your child. That being said, the amount of additional benefits you can collect for your children is a finite, or limited, number. The SSA says that “the total depends on your benefit amount and the number of family members who also qualify on your record. The total varies, but generally the total amount you and your family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of your disability benefit.”

Help for your disabled child

The rules are a little different when your child has a disability. If he or she is an adult who meets the criteria for eligibility, then you can help your child apply for benefits with the help of a Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer on his or her own. Your adult child may also qualify for “child’s” benefits if you and/or your spouse is collecting Social Security for your retirement. In all cases, the child must have exhibited a disability before the age of 22 and must be unmarried.

The list of impairments for children with disabilities is similar to those of adults, and includes:

  • Low Birth Weight and Failure to Thrive
  • Musculoskeletal System impairments or disorders
  • Special Senses and Speech impairments or disorders
  • Respiratory System impairments or disorders
  • Cardiovascular System impairments or disorders
  • Digestive System impairments or disorders
  • Genitourinary Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological impairments or disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases)
  • Immune System Disorders

At Larry Pitt & Associates, we understand how worried you are for your children. We want to help you and your family get the Social Security Disability benefits you need and are entitled to have. Please contact us to make an appointment with a Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorney who can help. We proudly serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.