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Are You Certain You Have Maximized Your Child’s Disability Benefits?

Are You Certain You Have Maximized Your Child’s Disability Benefits?I have met with many families who have children with special needs. One of the most important questions that we ask is, “Was your child declared disabled prior to the age of 22?” If the answer to that question is “yes,” there are a number of financial opportunities available that parents should be aware of.

Most parents know to apply for government assistance programs such as Medicaid and Social Security Income (SSI) on behalf of their child. However, when the child reaches age 18, an important social security insurance benefit—called the Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefit—may be available to them.

A disabled adult child is entitled to benefits if they meet the following requirements:

  • An application for DAC is filed;
  • The child meets the social security disability insurance’s definition of “disabled”;
  • The child is 18 years of age or older and their disability began before the age of 22;
  • The child is not married, or is married to a social security beneficiary; and
  • Their parent is either deceased, entitled to social security disability insurance, or entitled to retirement insurance benefits.

The Disabled Adult Child benefit is a monthly cash payment made to the disabled adult child based on the social security earnings record of their parent. The amount they receive depends on the parent’s primary insurance amount:

  • If the parent is living, the disabled adult child is entitled to half of their primary insurance amount.
  • If one parent is deceased, they are entitled to three-fourths of their primary insurance amount.
  • If both parents are deceased, retired or disabled, the child is entitled to benefits on the higher account of the two.

In some instances, the child may be eligible based on the account of a stepparent or grandparent.

When the child is granted this benefit, it may cause them to be kicked off of SSI due to the increased income. For this reason, it is important to meet with an attorney who specializes in planning for children with special needs so that they may discuss managing the transition to prevent an interruption in benefits.

Contact the Russo Law Group P.C. to discuss your situation.

Deanna Eble

Deanna M. Eble
Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530

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