Children under 18 may have a qualifying disability for Social Security benefits. However, the child’s disability isn’t considered when determining if they qualify for benefits as a dependent of a parent receiving benefits.
Usually, the benefits for children will stop at age 18. Some exceptions include if the child is a full-time student at a high- or elementary school (which qualifies them for benefits until age 19) or if they have a qualifying disability.
Disability considerations for children and adults
An adult with a qualifying disability that developed before they reached 22 may be eligible for benefits if their parent has died or if they begin receiving disability or retirement benefits. This is considered a “child’s” benefit because it’s paid through the parent’s Social Security earnings record.
The DAC or Disabled Adult Child must meet certain criteria to receive these benefits. These include:
- Be unmarried
- Age 18 or older
- Have a qualifying disability that began before reaching age 22
- Meet the disability qualifications for adults
The DAC does not have to have a work history. The benefits are paid based on the earnings record of their parents. However, they can’t have substantial earnings if the DAC does work. The “substantial” amount increases each year, and for 2022, earning more than $1,350 and $2,260 for those who are blind a month would disqualify a DAC from benefits.
Does your child qualify for benefits?
If you have a child who is over 18 and has a qualifying disability, it may be possible to get benefits for them from the Social Security Administration. Knowing your legal rights will help determine if your child qualifies for these benefits.