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What SSDI Benefits are Available for Disabled Children?

For individuals who have children living with a disability or for individuals who live with a disability and have children, they may wonder what kind of Social Security Administration financial benefits their child qualifies for, especially when medical expenses can accumulate. A disabled child that’s eligible for benefits should be under the age of 18 and have a physical or mental ailment that marks severe limitations, as determined by medical professionals. However, there are other things to consider and exceptions when it comes to who is eligible.

This blog post aims to outline what families need to know when it comes to SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) for disabled children and how they might qualify for these benefits.


Are Children Able to Receive Disability Benefits?

The answer is yes, they can, whether they are disabled or not. Part of a parent’s income is linked to the child in determining whether or not they qualify for SSI. Also, once a child becomes an adult, if they still live with their parents and rely on them for food and shelter, that might also determine how much money they receive.

However, there are a few different ways that disabled children can receive SSDI benefits. 

  • Children with Disabilities Who are Low-Income


If a child living with a disability also comes from a low-income family, they can receive SSI payments, or Social Security Income, until they reach the age of 18. Once they reach 18, they are eligible to start receiving adult SSI benefits. In addition to receiving SSI, those children who are approved can also receive Medicaid. 

  • When Children Don’t Qualify for SSI


If a child is under 18 (or 19 if they are a full-time student) and their parent receives SSDI or SSI benefits, they might be able to receive dependents’ benefits, whether or not they have a disability. 

  • Adults Living with Disabilities Since Childhood


Children who are disabled and older than 18 or who became disabled before the age of 22, are able to receive benefits if their parent receives SSDI or SSI. These children are also able to claim these benefits if their parent collecting SSDI or SSI passes away.


ssdi benefits for disabled child in wheelchair with parents

SSDI Benefits for Children who are Disabled

The first thing to know is that there are no regular SSDI disability benefits for a child under the age of 18 who is disabled. The benefits they rely on come from their parents through SSI benefits. Once a disabled child turns 18, then this puts them in a new category of “adult child” benefits, a distinction that is for disabled children only.

For a disabled child or turns 18 or for a child who becomes disabled before the age of 22, the disability benefits can continue for as long as they are disabled. Also, a disabled child can receive these benefits if a parent, guardian, or stepparent was entitled to these benefits or was entitled before they passed away. Once a disabled child turns 18, the financial benefits will also no longer take into consideration their parents’ income as part of the eligibility determination and what amount of money they receive.

Like most disability qualifications, the young adult in question must meet the criteria for what it means to have a disability. It will use the “child’s benefit” or parent’s earning record and does not mean that the child needs to be young. Many times these benefits will kick in when the child is between the ages of 18 and 22, often when the parent’s Social Security benefits kick in upon retirement.


What if a Child Becomes Disabled after the Age of 22?

If a child becomes disabled after the age of 22, they must be able to demonstrate a low enough income and assets to meet the standards of SSI or rely on their earnings to qualify for SSDI. Even though a young adult must have some work earnings to qualify for SSDI, they have fewer credits.

Whether you are a disabled individual living with a disabled child or non-disabled individual living with a disabled child, it’s important to know what kind of benefits your child is eligible for and what happens as they grow older. If you need help or have any questions, feel free to reach out to Lowery Law Group.


More Information

Are you in need of a disability lawyer? Are you seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or are experiencing an injury or illness? Contact Lowery Law Group at info@lowerylegal.com or call (843) 991-0733. There is no fee for a free consultation regarding your claim. Lowery Law Group is experienced in handling cases in South Carolina as well as Georgia.