Disabled children are eligible for Social Security benefits if their parents receive these benefits. In such a case, a child qualifies because of the earning record of the parents. However, things are different when you apply for Social Security benefits as a disabled adult child. Here, our Greenville disability lawyers will look at how Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disabled adult child and how you can get Social Security benefits if you fall in this category.
Definition of a Disabled Adult Child
SSA has a clear definition for the term ‘disabled adult child.’ Anyone who falls in this category must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be above the age of 18
- Have a disability that started before you turned 22
- Have a parent who receives Social Security Benefits or have a deceased parent who received these benefits at the time of his or her death
- Be unmarried
If you meet the requirements listed above, SSA designates you as a disabled adult child. Once designated thus, you are eligible to receive payments through the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program of the agency.
The use of ‘child’ may be confusing here as you will essentially be above 18 when you qualify for this category. However, the term simply denotes the fact that you receive benefits in lieu of the earnings record of your parents and not on your own record.
How Does SSA Define a Disability?
Even if you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, your condition must qualify as a disability in the eyes of the SSA. This means that the condition that limits your functional capacity must meet an addition set of requirements. These include the following.
You must have a medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months. It may be serious enough to possibly result in death in a severe case.
The condition must be severe enough to impose functional limitations on you. This means that it leaves you unable to seek a substantial livelihood.
How to Demonstrate Functional Limitation?
If you have a disability, you must be able to prove to SSA that it limits your ability to function and work for a living. There are different ways of proving this. Here is a quick look at these.
- A Listed Impairment: SSA maintains a comprehensive list of medical impairments which it considers severe enough to be regarded as a disability. SSA also provides a detailed criterion for these impairments. If your medical condition is one of these impairments and you meet the set criterion of severity, you qualify for the SSDI benefits.
- Equaling Listed Impairment: The list of impairments maintained by SSA is far from exhaustive. If your medical condition is not on the list, you may still qualify for SSDI benefits. If your impairment is similar in nature and severity to a listed impairment, it may be regarded as ‘medically equal.’ When that is the case, SSA may treat your impairment the same as a listed impairment.
- Residual Functional Capacity: If your impairment does not qualify through the two methods listed above, SSA will make a decision on the severity of you disability. The agency will specifically seek to determine the limitations imposed by your impairment. To this end, SSA will use a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) test to see how your impairment prevents you from earning a meaningful wage.
SSDI Benefits and Marriage
An important point to consider when seeking SSDI benefits as a disabled adult child is marriage. SSA will typically terminate your SSDI payments once you get married. This is not the case in a few rare occasions when you marry another disabled adult child. However, it is best to consult the local Social Security officials about how your marriage may impact your SSDI benefits.
Hiring Disability Lawyers in Greenville SC
If you live in Greenville SC and wish to seek SSDI benefits as a disabled adult child, we can help you. Here at Robert Surface Law Firm, our disability lawyers specialize in helping you prepare and file an SSDI benefits application.
We help you through the process of gathering evidence, filing your benefits application and appearing before SSA officials when needed. Applying for SSDI benefits can be very distressing especially when you have to go through the process on your own. To avoid this, it is best to hire professional legal help. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our attorneys.