You worked at your job your whole life. And then at night, you came home and cared for your now-adult child, who was born with a disability. Finally, it’s time to retire and spend more time at home in Indiana with family.
You will be applying for your Social Security benefits soon, but while you’re at it, apply for your child too.
The law allows for an adult who was disabled before age 22 to receive benefits when their parent starts receiving retirement or disability payments. The adult child is eligible for benefits under their parent’s earning records.
An adult child can include an adopted child, and in some instances, even grandchildren, stepchildren or stepgrandchildren could be eligible. The adult child must be 18 or older, have been disabled before turning 22 and meet the disability definition.
The adult child never had to have a job to be eligible, but they also can’t have earnings that are considered substantial. In 2018, “substantial” was defined as making more than $1,180 a month.
Under this scenario, benefits will be paid based on the parent’s earnings record. Because of that, an application still should be filed on behalf of an adult child who already is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or disability benefits based on their own records. A parent’s earnings record could be higher, meaning their child could receive a larger monthly benefit.
This is a complex situation and a tough law to interpret. That’s why an attorney who has experience working with Social Security Disability cases could be invaluable to those who go through the application process for benefits.