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Children With Disabilities: Social Security Benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Retirement Income (SSR) Benefits For Children With A Disability

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Children can receive benefits under these programs as either:

  • Dependents benefits payable to children under the age of 18 based on the record of a parent who is collecting retirement or disability benefits from Social Security.
  • Survivors benefits payable to children under the age of 18 on the record of a parent who has died.

Although children under age 18 who are eligible for these benefits might be disabled, Social Security does not need to consider their disability to qualify them for benefits.

Note: An unmarried child can continue receiving dependents or survivors benefits until age 19 if he or she is a full-time student in elementary or high school.

Social Security Benefits For Adults Disabled Since Childhood

The benefits explained in the previous section normally stop when a child reaches age 18 (or 19 if the child is a full-time student). However, those benefits can continue to be paid into adulthood if the child is disabled.

To qualify for these benefits, an individual must be both:

  • Eligible as the child of someone who is getting Social Security retirement or disability benefits, or of someone who has died.
  • The child must have a disability that began prior to age 22.

Although most of the people getting these benefits are in their 20's and 30's (and some even older), the benefit is considered a "child's" benefit because of the eligibility rules.

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