Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have to prove they have accumulated enough work credits to qualify. But what about an adult who has never worked? In some cases, adult children may get SSDI on a parent’s work record instead of their own. Of course, an adult seeking to get disability benefits based on their parent’s records has to meet certain criteria.
General SSDI Qualifications
The SSDI program is administered by the Social Security Administration, which is part of the United States federal government.
In general, an application must meet the following criteria to be approved:
- The applicant must have accrued the right number of work credits.
- The applicant must have a physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts them from working.
A medical condition reaches the level of disability or impairment when it:
- Has lasted for at least 12 months;
- Is expected to last for at least 12 months; or
- Is expected to result in the applicant’s death.
The applicant’s work history affects the outcome. How will adult child qualify for SSDI?
Adult Children and SSDI
First, the SSA defines ‘child’ as a biological child, step-child, or grandchild. Children generally can receive a deceased parent’s SSDI benefits. However, the child must be:
- Disabled before reaching age 22, or
- Under age 18 or 19 if attending high school.
Here’s how it works:
- The Disabled Adult Child (DAC) applies for SSDI benefits.
- The SSA reviews the claim, applying the usual tests. The applicant must prove the disability.
- However, the DAC’s work history may be overridden by the parent’s work history. Typically, due to age and other factors, the DAC may receive higher benefits because the parent has a longer work history and more work credits.
Do You or an Adult Child Need Help Navigating Social Security Disability Insurance?
It may be difficult to prove all elements of a claim made by an adult child. Hiring an attorney means you have someone guiding you along the way.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Much of their work involves Social Security disability cases. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.