Disabled Child Benefits

Not all disabled children get benefits.

Disabled Minor Children

Disabled minor children whose parents are working (and grossing more than a certain amount) are not eligible for Child's SSI, because they are supported by their parents' wages. Their parents' income is "deemed" to them, making them financially ineligible for SSI, which is a needs-based program. However, if the family is poor enough to receive ADC/TANF, the child might be eligible for Child's SSI benefits.

A disabled minor child whose parent leaves the workforce because of death, disability, or retirement will be entitled to an "auxiliary" or "dependent" benefit on that parent's work record, since the family had grown dependent on those wages.


Disabled Adult Children (DAC)

Disabled adult children who became disabled during the developmental years (before age 22), and who have been dependent on a wage-earning parent because they never entered the workforce themselves, will be eligible for benefits only when that wage- earning parent loses the ability to keep earning wages, by death, disability, or retirement. At that point, DAC benefits kick in.

In the meantime, disabled adult children may qualify for SSI in their own right, as disabled adults whose income and assets are low enough. They can be living at home, and their parents can be working. Their SSI benefits will be reduced by one-third, to reflect the "home of another" reduction, unless they can show that they owe rent to their parents or other landlord. Sample language of such a rent agreement is shown below.

Sample Language for a Rent Agreement

I, [CLAIMANT NAME], agree that I will pay back my pro rata share of rent, utility, food, and other household expenses to [LANDLORD NAME], for each month I receive SSI back benefits. I will pay this as soon as I receive my SSI back benefits. Once I start receiving my monthly SSI checks, I will pay my pro rata share of such expenses from that month forward. If I do not receive SSI, I will pay back this loan out of other future income.

My attorney, [ATTORNEY NAME], told me it was best to make a written record of any agreement about repayment that we had already made orally. I am following that advice by putting our agreement in writing.

The agreement must be signed and dated.


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