Adult Child Disabilities and Social Security

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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Generally, child disability benefits stop when a child reaches 18.  In some cases, Social Security benefit disbursement can continue indefinitely into adulthood if the child is physically or mentally disabled and living with a parent receiving Social Security.   

If Someone Who is Disabled is over 18, Why are They Considered a Child?

An adult child is someone who is 18 or older.  Because the benefit being paid is based on a parent's Social Security earnings, the adult is considered a child.

What are the Qualifications?

To receive disability benefits as an adult disabled since childhood, the following requirements must be met: 

What Criteria Does the Social Security Administration Use?

When an adult child is applying for benefits for the first time, or is having child benefits renewed, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will use adult disability criteria.  The adult must have a: 

How Does the Social Security Administration Determine if an Adult Child Is Disabled?

If the above criteria are met, the SSA will then compare the adult's condition with a list of impairments that would prevent someone from working for at least a year. 

What Happens after Being Approved for Benefits?

Once benefits are approved, the disability case will be periodically reviewed.  How often the review takes place will depend on the seriousness of your condition.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you, or someone you know, seeks disability benefits, or would like to appeal a benefits decision, you may want to meet with an attorney experienced with Social Security benefits and regulations.  The lawyer can discuss with you the rights and remedies that exist under Social Security law.  Additionally, the attorney can help file a benefits claim or appeal a decision. 

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Last Modified: 03-13-2014 05:18 PM PDT

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