Disabled Adult Child (DAC)

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. 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 the Sellers Law Firm to document the manifestation of a qualifying medical condition prior to the age of 22. 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 2012, the substantial gainful activity amount was $1010, gross, per month)

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