Disabled Adult Child (DAC)
Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is a program designed by the federal government to aid individuals who become disabled after the person has worked for prescribed period of time. Unlike SSI, SSDI is not needs based, and this means that there are no asset or income restrictions. However, most people who are under 22 have not worked the prescribed period of time that is necessary to qualify for SSDI, but a child in this situation could qualify for SSDI based upon their parents’ work credits in certain situations. To qualify under their parents’ work record, there are many hoops to jump through and the services of a qualified Montgomery Social Security lawyer are generally required.
An adult disabled before the age of 22 may be eligible for child’s benefits if a parent is deceased or has started receiving his or her retirement or disability benefits. The Social Security Administration considers this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. Therefore, the parent must have earned sufficient enough credits to qualify him or herself for SSDI benefits. Social Security makes its determination of the DAC claim, based on the rules for adult disability. The “adult child”—including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild—must be unmarried, age 18 or older, never have earned income that exceeds the SGA amounts, and have a disability that started before age 22. Also, and most importantly, the adult child’s parent must be permanently disabled, or receiving Social Security retirement benefits, or dead.
Documentation must be provided to Social Security showing that the “adult child” had a qualifying medical condition that manifested prior to the age of 22. Records from a pediatrician, primary care physician, and often times school records are used by our Montgomery Social Security lawyers to document the manifestation of a qualifying medical condition prior to the age of 22. It is imperative to have the child’s physician clearly document all of the information concerning the child’s disability as early as possible! This way there is a long record documenting the child’s disability from an early age. Social Security defines a qualifying medical condition as a permanent condition that prevents you from working. In other words, your disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, a minimum of twelve months and you must be unable to earn an income greater than the “substantial gainful activity” amount that is regulated by Congress and readdressed annually. (In 2017, the substantial gainful activity amount was $1170, gross, per month). Parents may also have Social Security screen the child before the child reaches the age of 22. By doing so, the parents may learn that the child will qualify or they may learn what documentation may be needed in future to help the child qualify.
If the adult child and the child’s parent meet all of the above qualifications, then the child should be able to receive Social Security benefits which are usually greater than an SSI award. The benefit of using the parent’s credits is that the child doesn’t have to worry about household income or the assets of the parents to qualify like the child would if applying for SSI. Also, the parents Social Security benefits are in no way affected by the child’s awards of benefits. Another benefit is that the child may still qualify for SSI based upon the amount of benefits that are earned from the parents SSDI. We know this can be a confusing area of Social Security, and we suggest using an experienced Montgomery Social Security lawyer. The lawyer can help explain the rules for applying and qualifying for benefits for an adult child.
At The Sellers Law Firm, we focus on helping people obtain money and benefits from the Social Security Administration. All consultations are always free! We have found that by helping people apply for benefits, instead of waiting to do their appeal, that we can have a greater chance of winning their case because we are involved from the very beginning. For many years, our clients would ask, “Why don’t you have an office near me?” We listened and we answered the “near me” question and opened offices in Montgomery, Greenville, Selma, and Troy. Call us today at Call 334-LAWYERS (334-529-9377) and let our team start working to win your case. You may also reach us by using the Contact Form or “text us” link on our website. Remember that doing nothing, changes nothing!