Philadelphia Social Security Disability Attorneys Blog Series – Part 2: Benefits for Disabled Children – Social Security Disability Benefits for Adults Disabled as Children -

When a child is born disabled, or if a child under the age of 18 becomes disabled, he or she is often qualified to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  But what happens when that child reach adulthood?  Will benefits continue?  Do they have to re-qualify their disability?

These questions are a common concern for families dealing with disabled children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  As the child nears adulthood and parents reach retirement age, plans need to be in place to care for the disabled child throughout their adult life.  Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are available to adults disabled as children, as long as they meet the requirements set forth by the federal Social Security Administration for adult disability.

Adults Disabled as Children Must Meet Eligibility Requirements for Adult Disability to Receive Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

Adults who received Supplemental Security Income benefits as children must qualify forSocial Security Disability as an adult, meeting the same criteria for disability as the average adult applicant.  The adult-child must prove that their mental or physical condition will impair their ability to support themselves for a period of at least 12 months, or that their physical condition is terminal.   The adult child’s eligibility is determined based on the parents’ work history, not on their own contributions to Social Security.  As long as the adult-child was disabled before the age of 22, or was receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits prior to turning 18 years old, the SSD can be paid as a child’s benefit to those who qualify.

Also included in the eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability benefits are the stipulations that the applicant must be unmarried, over the age of 18, and disabled before 22 years of age.  The adult child can be natural-born or adopted.  Eligibility qualification also requires that one or both parents must be receiving Social Security Disability or retirement benefits, or that they had worked the required length of time required to receive benefits if they are deceased.  Once approved, the adult child will continue to collect Social Security Disability benefits throughout adulthood, so long as they continue to meet the disability requirements for an adult.

Application Process for Social Security Disability Benefits

When an adult-child applies for Social Security Disability benefits, it is imperative that they prove that their childhood disability will continue to affect their mental or physical functioning throughout their adult life.  Carefully detailed medical records, medication history, physical or mental therapy, occupational therapy, and modifications made to the home to accommodate the disability should be documented and available at the time of application.  Applicants should also be prepared to grant permission to release personal and confidential records to the administration handling the application.  Social Security identification cards for both the applicant and parents of the applicant need to be available to prove eligibility.

The application for the Social Security Disability benefits process is not a quick one, with wait times often exceeding five months.  Once all information and applications are received by the Social Security Administration, they are forwarded to the state’s Disability Determination Services office for final approval.  If you are approved by your state for SSD, you will automatically receive Medicare insurance coverage after two years, as long as you remain disabled.

Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers of Silver & Silver help Disabled Children

The Social Security Disability attorneys at Silver & Silver law firm have been committed to helping clients claim Social Security Disability benefits for over 25 years.  We can make the consuming and overwhelming application process easier and increase your chances of benefit approval at the initial application level. Located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Silver & Silver serve clients throughout the Philadelphia region, including Southern New Jersey.   Call us today at 1-800-94SILVER or contact us online for more information on how we can help you claim the benefits that you are entitled to receive.