Social Security disability benefits are typically associated with adults and seniors who have a disability and cannot work. An adult who becomes disabled before the age of 22 years may also qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) as a disabled adult child, however, based on the benefits eligibility of a parent. This may be necessary when a younger individual suffers a serious disability and has not worked long enough to qualify for disability benefits based on his or her own work record. The eligibility requirements for a disabled adult child are the same as any other disability beneficiary, however, and obtaining these vital public benefits can be complicated.
Disability Attorneys of Arizona, LLC provides first-rate legal representation to disabled individuals and their families. If you are a disabled adult child or if you have a disabled adult child, we will help you understand the qualification requirements for obtaining disability benefits and guide you through the application process. Given the fact that the majority of initial disability benefits applications are denied, the best way to protect your rights is to work with our legal team. When you become our client, you can rest assured we will fight to help you obtain the disability benefits you deserve.
Who Qualifies as a Disabled Adult Child?
If you are disabled and one of your parents receives Social Security benefits, you may be entitled to disability benefits based on your parent’s earnings record. Such benefits are also referred to as “auxiliary benefits,” or “dependent benefits. To qualify as a disabled adult child, the eligibility requirements are as follows:
- You must be over the age of 18
- You must have become disabled before the age of 22
- You are not married
- One of your parents receives Social Security benefits or is deceased but at the time of death was insured for Social Security benefits
Additionally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will use the same eligibility standards to determine whether you are disabled as it would use for any adult seeking disability benefits. Your disability has lasted 12 months or is expected to last 12 months or result in death. Your impairment must also cause you to be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA).
The SSA maintains a list of medical impairments and criteria to qualify as a disability. If your impairment is on that list, and your condition meets the criteria for the impairment, then you qualify as disabled for purposes of SSDI. If your condition is not included on the list, you may still be eligible for disability benefits if your impairment is medically equivalent to a listed impairment. The SSA will also consider the extent to which your impairment limits your ability to function by conducting an assessment of your residual functional capacity (RFC) to determine what type of work you are capable of performing, if any, despite your impairment.
In any event, to obtain benefits as a disabled adult child you must be able to demonstrate that you suffered from the disability prior to becoming 22 years of age. Therefore, it is crucial to document your disability through medical treatment records, school records, work records, and any other documents that support your disability benefits claim. This is referred to as a child’s benefit not because you need to be young.
Other Considerations for a Disabled Adult Child
If you have worked before becoming disabled, you may be eligible for disability benefits based on your own work record because younger adults require a lower number of work credits. If you are under the age of 24, for example, it is only necessary to have earned 6 work credits within 3 years of the onset of the disability. Finally, if you do not qualify for disability benefits as a disabled adult child, you may still be eligible for benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Unlike SSDI, eligibility for SSI is based on need, not based on your work record or paying into the Social Security System.
Contact Our Disabled Adult Child Benefits Attorney
At Disability Attorneys of Arizona, we understand that coping with a disability as an adult child presents unique challenges. When you work with us, we will provide you with knowledge, compassion and exceptional personal service. Our legal team has a well-earned reputation for being dedicated advocates of the disabled and helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve. We will take the time to get to know you and explore all of your options for obtaining disabled adult child benefits. Please contact our office today to set up a free consultation.