People in Georgia may associate Social Security disability benefits with older Americans who are unable to continue working due to a physical or mental disability. However, children under the age of 18 may also be eligible for benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security disability Income (SSDI) programs.

First, your child may be eligible for SSI benefits if he or she is under the age of 18, meets the Social Security Administration’s criteria to determine whether a child is disabled, and has little income or resources. If the child is unmarried, under age 18, and lives at home with parents who do not receive SSI, the SSA will typically assign the parents’ income to the child. Once your child turns 18, different rules will apply to determine whether the child can get SSI benefits for their disability as an adult. If a child does not qualify for SSI, and is unmarried and under the age of 18 (or 19 if they are a full-time student), they could collect dependents benefits, if their parents are receiving SSDI benefits.

A child may also be eligible for SSDI benefits if they are an adult with a disability that began before they turned 22-years-old. To receive these benefits, one or both of the child’s parents must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, or one of both of the child’s parents died and qualified for Social Security based on their earnings record. Generally, if your child got benefits as a minor on a parent’s Social Security record, they may continue to receive these benefits when they turn age 18 if they are disabled.

Applying for disability benefits can be challenging, and many people benefit from having help with the application process. To find out more information on how you can apply for disability benefits for yourself, or on behalf of your child, consider speaking with a professional in the Fayetteville area.