For most people, changes in disability benefits only become an issue when a person retires or is able to reenter the workforce. However, there is a smaller group of people, those who have children with disabilities, who need to plan for when their child becomes a legal adult. Parents who collect Social Security disability benefits on behalf of their children should be aware of the changes that occur when that child turns 18 and not assume that benefits will continue as before.
When a child with disabilities turns 18, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) standards for disability qualifications change. The SSA will end disability benefits unless that child qualifies for benefits as an adult. When a child is under the age of 18, the SSA used the parents’ income to determine whether to award disability benefits. After 18, the child’s own income and any savings are the basis for financially qualifying for benefits.
Additionally, other eligibility standards change as well, meaning that the SSA might award benefits to a child with certain disabilities or conditions but not an adult. If you have a child who receives disability benefits from the SSA, it is important to understand just how reaching legal adulthood can affect your child’s eligibility.
Contact a Tulsa, Oklahoma Social Security disability attorney for more information and help navigating this complex process. If you depend on these benefits to care for your child, do not wait until he or she reaches legal age. We offer free consultations, and you can reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.