Even though the SSA provides benefits to adult children if they are over the age of 18 to qualify, the SSA will consider you a disabled adult because you will be collecting SSDI based on your qualifying parent's Social Security's earnings.
What does it mean to be Disabled?
In order to be eligible for SSDI as a disabled adult child, the disabled children must have a disability that began before 22. The SSA will determine if you qualify as disabled if you meet the medical eligibility requirements. Also, the child's disability must meet one of the disability listings mentioned in the Blue Book of SSA. The child must be able to prove the following:
- -Have a disability that either lasted 12 months, is expected to last 12 months, or is expected to result in death, and
- -The child's treatment or the treatment of their has rendered them unable to perform any substantial work
There are a few different ways in which a beneficiary can qualify for SSDI benefits. For instance, they can prove that they are unable to perform substantial gainful activity.
Let's discuss a few different ways in which you can qualify for disability:
Qualifying as Disabled if the beneficiary matches a Listed Impairment
The Social Security Administration has a Blue Book of Impairments with 200+ conditions listed in order of the limited severities and symptoms that it considers as 'sufficiently disabling' in order to qualify for Social Security Disability. If a beneficiary wants to qualify for SSDI they must meet one of these listings in the Blue Book.
Qualifying as Disabled if the beneficiary equals a Listed Impairment
If a beneficiary does not meet the Blue Book listings as a result of not meeting one of the conditions or its symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that they cannot qualify for SSDI benefits. According to one of the SSA's rules, you can still qualify if you 'equal' a condition listed in the Blue Book of SSA – this is when the condition is considered equivalent in severity to a listed impairment.
Qualifying as Disabled by having Limited Functional Capacity
Most beneficiaries are unaware that meeting a condition listed in the Blue Book of SSA does not necessarily mean qualifying for SSDI automatically. In fact, if you do not meet any of the conditions in the listing and also do not 'equal' any of the conditions, the SSA will further look to evaluate if your disability has any residual functional limitations impacting your daily functioning levels. If the SSA finds out that the DI claimant's disability is severe enough to have lasting functional limitations, they will have a higher chance of qualifying for disability.
So, if an adult child meets any of the above three conditions of meeting the conditions of a disability/impairment/condition according to the SSA, they will qualify for SSDI based on their parent's Social Security number.
What happens if the Child gets Married?
If the child were receiving SSDI as a disabled adult child and gets married – their status as a dependent will also change as they will no longer be considered eligible for SSDI as a dependent. So, the SSA will automatically terminate your benefits. However, if the beneficiary gets married to another disabled child, then the beneficiary child may still continue to receive benefits.
What would happen if I am eligible to apply for SSDI using my own earnings?
In case you have worked long enough to have enough work credits as a young worker, you can apply and qualify for SSDI on your own Social Security number. However, if you can still apply as a disabled child on your parent's Social Security number, you may apply for SSDI as a disabled adult and receive a higher SSDI benefits amount on your parent's earnings.