When a child turns 18, he or she is considered to be an adult for most intents and purposes. This definition of an adult extends to a child's status under the Social Security Act, and his or her eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can change dramatically when this milestone is reached. It is important to be prepared for these changes so that your child can continue to receive the assistance he or she needs.
I am Timothy White, a Chicago disabled children's lawyer who is dedicated to helping meet the needs of Illinois families. With more than 15 years of legal experience, I understand the Social Security benefits system inside and out, and I can help you understand what may be in store for your child when he or she turns 18.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses different criteria for adults than they do for children when it comes to determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For example, the income of the child's family members is not taken into account when looking at financial qualifications. When disabled children turn 18, it is only their income and resources that will be taken into account. This may mean that your child is eligible for benefits for which he or she may not have previously qualified.
In addition, if your child was receiving SSI benefits before he or she turned 18, his or her medical condition must be reevaluated by the SSA to determine whether your child would still be considered disabled as an adult. This can have a serious impact on your child's eligibility for assistance, which is why having an experienced children's disability benefits attorney in your corner is so important.
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
The rules concerning Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are different than those governing SSI benefits. Essentially, this program will pay benefits to adults who have been disabled before turning 22 years of age. These benefits are paid out based on the parent's Social Security account. This means that at least one of the parents must receive Social Security or, if the parent is deceased, must have worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security benefits.
SSDI is also available to adults over the age of 18 who were receiving benefits from their parent's Social Security account prior to turning 18. However, eligibility will still be determined based on the definition of a disability for adults, rather than for children. It is not necessary for the adult child to have worked in order to receive these benefits.
What Happens When Disabled Children Turn 18? Contact a Cook County Lawyer to Find Out.
When a disabled child turns 18, his or her children's Social Security benefits can change dramatically. I can help you prepare and help you work for the assistance your child needs. Contact me, a Chicago disability benefits attorney, online or call 773-295-2179, toll free at 877-851-4243, to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation. Messages will be returned promptly.