SSA Disability Benefits for Children

SSA Disability Benefits for Children


If you have a child diagnosed with a disability, a large concern may be how that child will be provided for financially. This is particularly true if the disability will prevent your child from ever working. One way in which this issue is addressed is through the Social Security disability benefits.

Child Under 18

The children of parents who are collecting Social Security retirement or disability benefits are eligible to receive benefits, regardless of whether they are disabled or not. Children may also collect benefits if a parent has died but worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security. These benefits will continue until the child turns 18. However, they may continue until the child turns 19 if the child is a full-time student in an elementary or high school.

Disabled Children Over 18

It is possible for a child with a disability to continue to receive benefits on their parents’ work record after they turn 18. The disabling impairment must have started before the child turned 22. Additionally, the impairment must meet the definition of disability for adults. Disability is defined as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or that has or is expected to last for at least one continuous year.

People eligible include adopted and stepchildren. In some instances, a grandchild or stepgrandchild may be eligible as well. The child receiving benefits must remain unmarried. However, there are “protected marriages” (marriages between two people who qualify for Social Security disability benefits) that allow an individual to marry while still continuing to collect benefits.

A child can only receive 50% of the parent’s retirement or disability benefit. If the parent has died, the child may receive 75% of the deceased parent’s Social Security benefit. But, the total amount any one family can receive is capped at 150 to 180% of the parent’s benefit amount.

Adult Child Working

In cases where a person is collecting benefits on their parent’ work record but also working themselves, it is possible that he or she may continue to receive benefits if their earnings are not substantial. For 2015, substantial earnings are considered anything over $1,090 per month.

Applying for Benefits

In order to apply for benefits, the birth certificate of the child, as well as the Social Security numbers of the parent and child are required. If the benefits are being claimed under a deceased parent’s work record, proof that the parent has died will be needed. You will also need to provide medical records in order to receive benefits for a child with a disability.

Get Legal Help with Your Benefits

At the Klok Law Firm LLC, we have the experience to help you or your child obtain disability benefits. We understand how important these benefits are to your family and want to put our expertise to work for you. If you have any questions related to disability law, contact us today.