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SSDI For Children: Eligibility And Benefits

Last updated: April 12, 2023

Your child may be able to receive SSDI benefits if you are approved. It depends on how much you paid in, how much you receive, and how many family members you have who qualify for benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are usually divided between the child and parents who are determined to be disabled. In the event that they receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the children will not be eligible for additional benefits.

Your eligible children may be able to receive SSDI benefits if you are approved. It is likely that your children will be eligible for assistance if you qualify. Your children will receive benefits depending on how much you paid in, your benefit amount, and how many family members qualify.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are usually divided between your child and you (if you have only one child). If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your children will not receive additional benefits.

Eligibility Determination For SSDI Dependent Benefits

The following eligibility criteria must be met in order for children to be eligible for dependent benefits:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients' biological, adopted, or stepchildren
  • Marital status (should be unmarried)
  • A person who is under the age of 18 or is still enrolled in high school but is under 19 years old
  • Social Security number and birth certificate must be valid
  • Children and grandchildren

Children raised by grandparents or step-grandparents may also qualify for dependent benefits under certain circumstances. The following are included:

  • In the event that their parents have passed away;
  • They can qualify if their parents are disabled people and unable to work;
  • In most cases, at least half of the child's financial support is provided by you;
  • You became entitled to SSDI benefits at least one year after the grandchildren moved in with you.

This situation often leads to grandparents adopting grandchildren or receiving legal custody of them through the courts. In this case, SSDI recipients' children would be subject to the rules. As if your grandchildren were your biological children, the Social Security Administration will assess their eligibility for dependent benefits.

Understanding How Long Your Children Will Receive Benefits

You can expect your children to continue receiving dependent benefits until they turn 18 as long as you continue to receive SSDI benefits. The benefits will continue for them as long as they are still in high school at the time:

  • Either they graduate, or
  • Their education is interrupted; or
  • It is their 19th birthday.

The first of these events will result in the termination of their benefits. This exception only applies if your child has a disability as well. The child can continue to receive dependent benefits even if they suffer a disability and remain dependent on you.

A disability attorney or claims representative may be able to help you, especially if your child has ever worked. Their own earnings record may allow them to qualify for more money if they apply for benefits.

The benefits for children whose parents receive SSDI as a result of chronic or terminal illnesses are often a concern for them when the parents pass away. Your child will continue to receive benefits until they reach the age of 18 or graduate high school if you die before they reach these milestones.

Limits On How Much You Can Receive

You and your family will only receive 150 to 180 percent of your disability benefit amount from the Social Security Administration, depending on your earning record. You can max out your dependent benefits with one child since each child qualifies for 50 percent of your benefit amount.

A child receiving dependent benefits of $600 should get $1,200 per month if you receive $1,200 a month in benefits. You will receive 150 percent of the amount of your benefit. A Social Security Administration disability payments payment of $600 for additional children is not available if you have two children. If you did this, you would be violating the program's benefit limits by 200 percent. Your two children will each receive $300 from the Social Security Administration as a dependent benefit instead of the full $600.

You may be termed as eligible disabled parents who can receive dependent benefits for all family members, not just your children. Here are a few examples:

  • In the case of spouses who are unable to work, or over the age of 62, or who have children under the age of 18
  • You are caring for grandkids
  • You are responsible for caring for and supporting your parents

Your family benefits will never be reduced by the Social Security Administration based on these family limits. If your household total falls below 150-180 percent, benefits will be reduced proportionally to each qualified member of your family.

Talk to Disability Attorney

A disability lawyer can help you understand your options for obtaining the full adult disability benefits your family deserves in the event that you are having trouble getting your child or children the benefits they deserve based on your disability claim.

In regards to the benefit-seeking process, you shouldn't have to handle any part of it yourself. It is your attorney’s job to alleviate your stress and fight for your benefits. From the beginning to the end, they are there for you. If your family meets all the requirements, they can prove that they are eligible for benefits.

Applying for Social Security's benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article on getting partial disability benefits. To learn more, please visit DisabilityHelp.org today!

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Victor Traylor
An expert to the field of Social Justice, Victor formed Disability Help to connect ideas and expertise from the US with rising global cultural leadership, building networks, fostering collaboration, long-term results, mutual benefit, and more extensive international perception.
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