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SSD for Adult Children with No Work History

Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability (SSD) is available for people who can no longer work because of a disability. Benefits are based on the individual’s work history, but what about a person who was born with a disability or has never worked due to disability? SSD may still be available, based on the work history of the individual’s parents.

Adult children who meet the Social Security Administration’s strict definitions and criteria may be eligible for SSD, with benefits based on the earnings record of either or both of the parents. In order to qualify, the individual must be at least 18 years and have become disabled prior to turning 22 years old. In most cases, the person must also be single, unless in a “protected marriage” recognized by Social Security. In addition, the person must have a parent who is starting to receive either retirement or disability benefits from Social Security or have a parent who was eligible for Social Security but died.

Minor children whose ability to function is severely limited by a disability may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if the financial resources of the household are within SSI’s eligibility threshold and they otherwise meet the strict definition of disability for SSI.

Whether seeking SSD or SSI for a minor or adult child, obtaining Social Security benefits is notoriously difficult. Legal assistance from an attorney experienced in achieving success with SSD applications and denials is highly recommended.

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