John and Angela’s daughter was born with a serious respiratory disorder – cystic fibrosis. They struggled to pay for costly treatments, medication, and therapy while also supporting their other children and themselves. They needed financial support. John and Angela did not know whether to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits. They didn’t know whether they could get these benefits because their child has a disability or not.
When the Child Has the Disability
The parents or guardians of a child with a medical condition may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. To qualify, the child must:
- Meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of child disability.
- Have limited income and resources,
Most children have no income and resources. The Social Security Administration instead considers the income and resources of everyone living in the child’s household.
An adult might receive “a child’s benefit” from SSDI if he or she became disabled before age 22. Of course, SSDI benefits require that the beneficiary has accumulated work credits. Since it is unlikely that young adults have acquired enough work credits, benefits are based on the parents’ work credits.
When a child has a disability, can the parents get SSDI or SSI benefits? Yes, as long the child has a condition the Social Security Administration considers a disability and the child’s family falls below the income and resource limits, or the child’s parents have earned enough work credits.
When the Parent Is Disabled
Sometimes the child of a disabled parent receives SSDI or SSI benefits. However, the Social Security Administration will review the situation when the child reaches age 18. Generally, SSDI benefits only continue if the child is disabled also.
If the child’s medical condition still meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, and the parent has enough work credits, the child may continue receiving SSDI benefits.
If the child is still disabled at age 18, but his or her income and resources do not fall below the SSI’s requirements, SSI benefits may stop.
Just a Few Reasons to Hire a Disability Attorney
Remember two things:
- SSDI and SSI are separate programs with separate requirements; and
- The Social Security Administration does not count all income and resources towards the limits.
It’s easy to be confused about whether you meet their requirements or not. That’s one reason it is so important to hire a disability attorney to help with your application.
At The Law Offices of Martin Taller, your case receives the attention and care of experienced Social Security Disability attorneys. For your free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We are located in Anaheim, but we assist clients throughout Southern California.