Disability benefits for disabled children and for children of disabled parents are one of the few benefits covered by the Social Security Disability Insurance program by the Social Security Administration.
The Social Security Administration reported in 2017 of having distributed $2.6 billion per month in disability benefits paychecks to 4.6 million dependent children of SSDI eligible parents, retired workers who were unable to work due to disability or children of deceased with an eligible SSDI program of one or both of their parents.
SSDI benefits for children are only one category of passive SSDI benefits, the other two being spousal and ex-spousal benefits. However, the person on whose Social Security any of these benefits are being claimed, need not be eligible for SSDI through work credits but the people claiming on their parent's or spouse's Social Security number also need to meet all the medical requirements for an SSDI claim.
Can children with Disability get SSDI Benefits?
For beneficiaries with a heavy responsibility of supporting a family with disability, it can be very difficult both emotionally and physically in addition to a difficulty in suffering financially. Fortunately, the SSA provides insurance for families whose main bread winner's disability disrupts their ability to provide and support for the entire family. So, depending on the type of Social Security benefits a beneficiary is awarded, their children with disability will also be eligible for the Social Security monthly benefits. The amount of children's social security benefits will be calculated as a percentage of the total amount of the benefits awarded to the parent/spouse on whose Social Security number the child has claimed the benefits.
Requirements for SSDI benefits for Children
Beneficiaries, who have worked a sufficient amount of time before they became disabled, would be eligible to receive a monthly Social Security benefits paycheck depending on the amount of time they worked and how much money they paid into the Social Security system. The dependents of these beneficiaries would also get a monthly benefit when you start receiving SSDI.
If a beneficiary does not have enough work history to qualify for SSDI or haven't worked in a job that did not pay into Social Security, the claimants would not be eligible to apply for DI benefits. Instead, they will be only eligible for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, the children and the beneficiary on whose Social Security the benefits are being claimed need to prove to the SSA that their disability is indeed disabling enough to prevent them from working substantially.
Requirements for Children to be able to receive the SSDI benefits as dependents
The SSA considers biological children, adopted children and dependent stepchildren to be the eligible dependents of the disabled individual. Therefore, the SSA may provide benefits to your children if you become disabled and qualify for SSDI. However, the dependent children need to meet the following conditions:
- -The child(ren) are unmarried; and
- -The child(ren) are under 18 years of age;
The requirements for children who are 18 years or older are slightly different:-The child is enrolled as a secondary school student; or
- -The child is disabled AND the disability started before they turned 22 years old
Applying for SSDI benefits for Children
In order to apply for benefits for children, the person on whose Social Security the children's benefits is being claimed, will need to present their Social Security numbers in addition to the dependent child's Social Security number and his/her birth certificate. In case a child does not have a Social Security number assigned yet, they will need to be registered with the SSA and obtain a Social Security number before applying for SSDI as dependents. In addition to this, the child(ren) will also need to provide proves of other information such as a proof of enrollment in school if the child is over 18 years of age, as mentioned above.
How long will dependent children keep on receiving benefits?
Generally, dependent children receiving SSDI benefits will keep getting benefits until they reach 18 years of age. However, the benefits will end when the children reach their 18th birthday.
If the child is a full-time student, the monthly SSDI paychecks will be terminated when the children either graduate from or leave secondary school or two months after 19, whichever happens first. However, if the child is on SSDI benefits for disability and the disability had started before the child had turned 22 years of age, his/her monthly benefits will continue indefinitely. (However, the SSA will look for continued disability review and determine if the child could work and earn a higher amount of benefits as a disabled adult instead of earning benefits as a dependent).
What happens if the parent dies?
The child will continue to receive survivor benefits on their parent's Social Security number as long as he/she meets the above requirements.
For more information on benefits for disabled children as dependents, please consult a professional social security attorney.