If your child is disabled and currently receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you may have questions about what will happen when they turn 18.
Author Attorney Greg Reed:
The Social Security Administration (SSA), the federal agency that handles all disability benefits applications and payments, uses different criteria to determined children’s and adult’s disability status. Because of the different eligibility requirements for children and adults, it can be confusing when your disabled child becomes a legal adult.
Will the adult disability criteria apply to them? Can they continue receiving “child’s” benefits?
At the Law Offices of Bemis, Roach & Reed, our experienced Texas disability lawyers have been helping parents answer these questions for over 20 years. We serve clients in the Austin area and throughout Texas apply for SSD benefits for themselves and for their children.
Will My Child Receive Benefits as an Adult?
Once your child turns 18, their disability benefits will be evaluated using adult disability requirements. Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are awarded to people who can no longer work due to disabling medical or mental conditions. There are many conditions that may qualify someone to receive these benefits. However, just having a certain condition is usually not enough to start receiving benefits. An applicant must prove through medical evidence, such as doctors’ evaluations or medical records, that their condition is expected to last at least one year and severe enough to prevent them from working. Additionally, the applicant may have to prove that their condition meets certain criteria for the condition to be considered a disability.
There are a number of conditions that the SSA considers automatic qualifiers for disability benefits.
Someone who has one of these conditions will be considered disabled if they meet the criteria for that particular disability. Once your child turns 18, his or her disability will be considered based on these criteria. If your child’s disability is not listed as an automatic qualifier, or their symptoms are not severe enough to meet a listing’s criteria, they may still qualify to receive benefits if their condition prevents them from working.
Can My Adult Child Receive “Child’s” Benefits?
Typically, an adult’s benefit amount is based on how much earnings they have paid into the Social Security system. If your child never worked before turning 18, they may be able to receive SSD benefits based on your earnings record. That is, your disabled child may be qualified to receive benefits based on how you have paid into the system. This option is available to the disabled adult children who have received dependent’s benefits in the past or who have a disabled parent receiving SSD. To receive these “adult child” benefits, your child must have become disabled before they turned 22 years old. Their disability must also meet the definition of disability for adults, as described above.
Texas Disability Lawyers Can Help You
Making sure that your disabled child can still receive their disability benefits after they turn 18 can be challenging and complicated. There are many steps in the process to ensure they continue to receive the benefits they need without interruption.
It is important that you hire an experienced disability attorney to guide you through this process. The attorneys at Bemis, Roach & Reed understand the application process and disability law. We are dedicated to serving clients like you and your family, and have been successfully representing Texans for over 20 years. We serve clients throughout Texas. If you are concerned about your child receiving SSD benefits after they turn 18, call us today for a free initial consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Author: Attorney Greg Reed has been practicing law for 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Reed obtained board certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Greg is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the United States Court of Appeals-Fifth Circuit. Mr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and an Associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Reed and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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