Benefits may be available to a child of parents with a disability

by Feb 24, 2017

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When a parent is disabled and cannot work, they may fear not only how they will support themselves, but how they will support their child. After all, as most parents can attest, it takes a certain amount of money to care for a child, so that the child can grow up in a healthy, happy environment. Therefore, parents who are disabled and are receiving Social Security disability benefits may wonder if their child can also receive benefits.

The good news is that, per the Social Security Administration (SSA), if a parent qualifies for disability benefits, that parent’s child may also be eligible to receive benefits based on the parent’s record if certain requirements are met. This is true not only for the parent’s biological children, but also for a parent’s stepchildren, adopted children or dependent grandchild.

However, there are certain factors that must be met for a child to receive benefits based on their parent’s record. First of all, the child cannot be married. In addition, the child needs to either be 18-years-old or younger, between 18-years-old and 19-years-old and a full-time student in grade 12 or below, or be 18-years-old or older and have a disability that began before the child was 22-years-old.

In general, a child can no longer receive benefits based on their parent’s record after reaching 18-years-old unless the child has a disability. That being said, if the child is a full-time student in high school and is 18-years-old, the child will still be eligible for benefits until either two months after turning 19-years-old or graduation from high school, whichever event occurs first.

Within a disabled person’s family, each child that qualifies for benefits will receive a payment each month that equals up to 50 percent of the parent’s full disability amount. That being said, there is a cap on how much the SSA can pay the disabled person’s family members.

Parents, even if they are disabled, want to give their children the best life possible. This goal is made more difficult if a parent cannot work. Fortunately, the SSA allows in some circumstances for a child to obtain benefits based on their disabled parent’s record. These benefits can help make sure that children do not suffer financially if their parent is disabled.