Disability doesn’t just affect the ill or injured person. Loved ones also suffer, especially financially. If the disabled person is unable to earn an income, their children and spouse often struggle. Families don’t usually plan for such circumstances. They don’t even like to think about them. Luckily, your family can benefit if you are eligible for Social Security.
What is Disability Under Social Security?
Under Social Security, the definition of disability is stricter than under some other programs. Social Security only pays for total disability. It does not cover short-term disability or partial disability. The assumption is that families have access to other resources for short-term conditions. These include insurance, savings and workers’ compensation.
The Social Security Administration considers you disabled if:
- You can’t do the work you did before
- You can’t adjust to other work because of your condition
- Your disability is expected to last for at least one year or result in death
How to Qualify for Social Security Benefits, According to Disability Lawyers in Greenville, SC
You must have worked in jobs which allowed you to be eligible for Social Security. Then, you must have a medical condition which meets the above definition. Social Security generally pays monthly benefits to individuals who can’t work for a year or longer because of a disability. You get benefits until you are able to work regularly again.
You must also have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify for benefits. The SSA determines work credits based on your total yearly wages or income from self-employment. Each year, you earn up four credits. The amount of work needed for a credit changes each year. For 2018, you earned one credit for each $1, 320 of income. You would, therefore, earn four credits when you earned $5, 280.
There is something else you need to consider. The number of work credits you need depends on your age when you become disabled. You generally need 40 credits. You should have earned 20 of them in the last ten years. Younger workers may be able to qualify even though they have fewer credits.
Benefits Your Children Can Receive Under Social Security If You are Disabled
Once you have qualified for disability benefits, your children can also receive benefits based on your record. The eligible child can be your biological child, stepchild or adopted child. If you have a dependent grandchild, they may also qualify.
In order to receive benefits, your child must be unmarried. They must also be:
- Younger than age 18
- A full-time student in grade or lower if they are 18 to 19 years old
- 18 or older with a disability that began before the age of 22
Children’s benefits usually stop at age 18 unless they are disabled or in school full-time. For those still in school, benefits continue until they graduate or two months after they turn 19, whichever comes first.
An adult who developed a disability before age 22 may be eligible for children’s benefits. They receive support when you start getting disability benefits. This is considered a child’s benefit because it is based on the parent’s record. It does not matter if the disabled adult child has never worked. The adult child can be an adopted child, stepchild, grandchild or step-grandchild. They must be age 18 or older and meet the definition of disability in adults.
If you don’t qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, your disabled children may still be able to get support. They may be eligible for assistance under the Supplemental Security Income program. SSI is for low-income individuals who become disabled. There are specific requirements for qualification. The resources of the entire household are taken into consideration.
The child must meet specific medical requirements for eligibility. They must:
- Have “marked and severe” limitations. These limitations must severely interfere with their ability to function at the level of other children their age.
- Have been disabled for the past 12 months or be expected to be disabled for 12 months. Alternatively, they must have a disability that is expected to result in death.
- Not be working and earning over $1,200 per month.
Disabled children don’t have to prove they won’t be able to work. The SSA will determine whether the child’s limitations are so severe that they need to move to full disability.
Contact Disability Lawyers in Greenville, SC for Assistance
If you are disabled and finding it difficult to get your children covered until Social Security, you need an attorney. At J.Robert Surface, you can get all the advice, guidance and representation you need. Don’t delay in seeking assistance. Contact us today for your first consultation.