Can Young People Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

Apr 22, 2014

When you hear the term, “Social Security”, it may conjure up images of retirement and old age, but Social Security is far more than just a retirement program. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), about one in six Americans (57 million) receive Social Security benefits. Almost two in five (36%) are not retired workers.

The Social Security program aids young people in many ways. Not only does the program provide benefits to young workers and their families in the event that they become disabled, it also provides benefits to the survivors of deceased workers, including their children.

About 4.4 million children receive approximately $2.5 billion each month because one or both of their parents are retired, disabled, or deceased. To get benefits, a child must have a parent who is disabled or retired and entitled to Social Security disability benefits, or a parent who died after having worked long enough in a job paying Social Security taxes. The child must also be:

  • Unmarried;
  • Under 18;
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than the 12th grade); or
  • 18 or older with a disability that started before the age of 22.

Social Security Disability Benefits for Adults Who Became Disabled in Childhood

Adults who have been disabled since childhood may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. SSDI benefits are paid to adults who have a disability that began before they became 22 years old. They are considered a “child’s” benefit because they are paid based on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.

To be entitled to this benefit, one of the disabled adult’s parents must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits or have died and worked long enough under the Social Security program. Adult child benefits continue for as long as the individual remains disabled.

Social Security Disability Benefits for Children Younger Than 18

Children from birth up to the age of 18 may receive disability benefits from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. In order to qualify for this program, children must meet the SSA’s definition of disability and have little to no income and resources. The family’s household income and resources are also considered. The child must have a physical or mental condition that severely limits his or her activities and the condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least one year or result in death.

It can take three to five months for the SSA to decide whether your child is disabled. For some medical conditions, however, the SSA makes SSI payments right away for up to six months while the state agency makes a decision. Conditions that may qualify include the following:

  • Total blindness
  • Total deafness
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • HIV infection
  • Birth weight below 2 pounds, 10 ounces

Once a child starts receiving SSI benefits, the SSA is required by law to review the child’s condition periodically to verify whether he or she is still disabled. When a child’s disability is being reviewed, parents must provide evidence that the child is and has been receiving treatment for it. Once the child turns 18, different rules are used to determine whether he or she can continue receiving SSI disability benefits.

Work with an Ohio Social Security Child Disability Lawyer

If you have a disabled child, you may be eligible for financial support. If you are an adult who has been disabled since childhood, you may also qualify for benefits. Call Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman today at 800.678.3318 or contact us online to request a consultation. Our Ohio Social Security child disability attorneys can help you fight for the benefits you deserve.

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