Social Security Benefits for Children

There are various ways in which children may qualify to receive Social Security Benefits. There are Supplemental Security Income (SST) benefits for disabled children. To qualify, the child must have little to no income and/or resources, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) will also consider the child's parents' income to determine the child's eligibility to receive SR. If the parents earn significant income, the child may not qualify for benefits. Once the child reaches the age of 18, the 18 year old must qualify on his or her own for SSI, without consideration of the family's income. If, however, the 18 year old receives food and shelter from his or her parents, the 18 year old's SSI benefits may be decreased based upon the level of assistance provided by his or her family.

A child may also qualify for derivative benefits if the child's parents are receiving Social Security retirement benefits or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), or if the child's parents were entitled to receive these benefits before their death. In that case, the child may be entitled to social security benefits based on the parent's death These derivative benefits to the child are also known as auxiliary benefits. The child is eligible to receive up to 50% of the parent's monthly benefit, but the amount is subject to the family maximum benefit. The child is entitled to receive these auxiliary benefits until attaining the age of 18, or 19 if the child is a full-time high school student. Further, if the child marries, the child is no longer eligible to receive the derivative benefits.

Children may also receive SSDI if they are disabled young adults or adult children. These benefits are categorized as "adult child" benefits, and are an extension of the dependent benefits discussed above. Social Security dependent benefits are available to those who are disabled when the child turns 18, or to those who become disabled before turning 22. If so, the S SDI benefits can continue as long as the individual continues to be deemed disabled. The SSA also refers to this as "adults disabled since childhood", and the parents' earning record is considered to determine eligibility.

A very young adult who becomes disabled after the age of 22 is eligible to receive SSI; however, the young adult must be considered `low income' by the SSA and have limited assets to qualify.

A young adult may also qualify for SSDI if he or she becomes disabled after the age of 22. The SSA will review the young adult's own earning record, not their parents' earning record to collect SSDI. Young adults require fewer work credits than adults to qualify for SSDI.

A final category of benefits is available to children who are younger than 18 and whose deceased parent had accumulated enough Social Security credits to earn benefits before dying.

The attorneys at Tanner Law Offices, LLC are here to answer all of your questions. Give us a call today to discuss your disability case. 717-836-0471.