Can my adult child get Social Security Disability benefits?

Yes. The term “adult child” is an individual who is unmarried and age 18 or older whose disability began before they reached age 22. Even though the benefits are paid to an adult, they are considered child’s benefits because the benefits are paid on a parent’s Social Security record.

The adult child’s disability is determined the same way every other adult’s disability is determined. If Social Security determines that the adult child is disabled, they will be entitled to benefits. If you receive a negative determination, please contact us for help.

If the adult child already receives SSI benefits, they may be entitled to a higher level of benefits based on their parent’s earnings record. If the adult child’s parent never worked, child’s benefits are not payable.

If the adult child is working, they may still be eligible for benefits under their parent’s earning record, but they will be subject to a determination of whether or not they are performing substantial work. In 2009, an substantial work meant that an adult child could not earn more than $980 per month. For 2010, earnings must be under $1,000. If earnings are above the substantial level for a given year, they may be disqualified from some or all Disability benefits.

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