Being unable to work due to a disability is difficult for many adults. When a parent is afflicted with a disability, however, any children of that individual can also experience a difficult time. Social security offers disability benefits for the children of a disabled individual which can prove vital for parents who are faced with a disability and have children. There are some very important considerations involving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and children and a talented attorney can often prove particularly helpful in these situations.
In order to be considered eligible for benefits from SSDI, a child must be the biological or adopted product of the disabled or deceased parent. In some cases, dependent stepchildren and grandchildren can also qualify for these benefits. There are two important elements in determining a child’s eligibility for SSDI:
- The Adult. The disabled adult must be entitled to receive SSDI benefits through disability or retirement. In the event that a parent has died, that parent must have paid Social Security taxes through the person’s job.
- The Child. The child must be unmarried and younger than 18 or still a full-time elementary or secondary school students in which case the child will remain eligible for SSDI benefits until age 19.
Maximum Amount Available
Unfortunately, there are limits on how much each child and family can receive in the form of SSDI benefits. An adopted or biological child of a parent receiving SSDI benefits can receive up to half of the amount of benefits received by the parents. If the parent dies, this figures increases to 75 percent. Families, however, are also subject to a maximum overall limit on SSDI benefits. Family benefits are limited to between 150 to 180 percent of the amount that the parent receives in benefits.
SSDI for Disabled Children
This group, which is called “adult child benefits” is another vital type of dependent benefit. These benefits apply to children who are disabled when the child turns 18 or if a young adult becomes disabled before turning 22. These benefits will continue for as long as the person is disabled. To qualify for these benefits, the young adult must meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disability. The amount that can be received as a benefit is based on the parent’s earning record. There is also a type of benefit for “adults disabled since childhood” which includes children who begin to collect disability benefits after a parent starts collecting benefits from Social Security.
The Assistance of a Talented Disability Attorney
For parents who are considering helping a child obtain SSDI benefits, the assistance of strong legal representation can help navigate this complicated process. The legal counsel at Whitcomb, Selinsky, McAuliffe, PC and its disability arm, Rocky Mountain Disability Law Group is compassionate and dedicated to helping individuals who require compensation receive SSDI benefits. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Denver and can be reached at (303) 534-1958 or by filling out our online form.