The challenges you face when a disability prevents you from working and earning a living increase when you have a family to support. The Social Security Administration has two programs providing disability benefits: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance.
If you receive SSDI benefits because of a disability, your children may also be eligible for benefits. However, the SSI program does not pay benefits to children whose parents are disabled, but children who are disabled may qualify for SSI benefits in their own right.
This blog contains information to help your children get the benefits they are entitled to receive. As you read through it, remember that a consultation with a disability advocate or lawyer at London Eligibility provides help with all matters related to SSI and SSDI.
SSDI benefits for children
SSDI benefits are available to a child of a parent entitled to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration either because of being disabled or retired. Children of a parent who worked long enough to qualify for Social Security retirement or SSDI benefits may also be eligible for monthly payments.
In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, a child must not be married and needs to meet one of the following requirements:
- 1). Be younger than 18 years of age.
- 2). Be a full-time student between 18 and 19 years of age and attending elementary or secondary school.
- 3). Be at least 18 years old with a disability that began prior to the child reaching age 22.
Benefits may also be available for your stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren and adopted children.
If you care for a child whose parent is eligible for SSDI or retirement benefits, you may be entitled to receive benefits independent from the benefits the child receives. The payments you receive stop when the child turns 16 years of age. However, payments continue when the child has a disability, and you exercise parental responsibility and control.
How much may a child receive?
Children may receive up to 50% of the SSDI or retirement benefit without diminishing the SSDI benefits received by their parent. When children receive benefits as survivors of a deceased parent, they may receive up to 75% of their parent’s basic retirement or SSDI benefit.
Social Security limits how much it pays to children and other members of the family of an eligible worker. The maximum total family payment cannot exceed between 150% and 180% of the full benefit payable to the disabled or retired parent. Payments made on behalf of a child will be reduced to keep the total from exceeding the limits.
The amount that a child receives each month through SSDI depends on the benefits payable to the parent. SSDI benefits are based on the lifetime earnings of an eligible worker. The maximum monthly payment through SSDI is $3,345 in 2022, but it can change each year depending upon cost-of-living adjustments.
Can a child receive SSI benefits?
Unlike the SSDI program that pays benefits to children whose parent or parents qualify for benefits, SSI benefits are only available to someone who is blind, disabled or 65 years of age or older and meets the financial limitations on income and resources. However, SSI benefits are available for children who are younger than 18 years of age or attend school and are younger than age 22.
Children must be blind or disabled according to the definitions used by Social Security. The definition to qualify for SSI as blind is the same for a child as it is for an adult, but the SSA uses a different definition for “disabled” to determine the eligibility of a child than it uses for adults.
A child must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment resulting in marked or severe functional limitations. The impairment or impairments must last or be expected to last for at least one year or be expected to cause death.
When a child attains age 18, the SSA reevaluates the disability using the adult criteria. Adults are disabled when they are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
Children who qualify for SSI benefits may receive as much as $841 a month. The monthly benefit may be more for children living in states that supplement the federal benefit. If you have questions about a child’s eligibility, speak with an SSI lawyer.
Get help with SSD benefits for children
Social Security rules and regulations can be complicated and confusing. Get honest and knowledgeable advice and skilled representation from the experienced disability advocates and SSD lawyer at London Eligibility. Learn more about the services we provide by contacting us today for a free consultation.