Marriage and the Disabled Adult Child.

Parmele Law FirmSocial Security, Uncategorized

Children who are over the age of 18 or who became disabled before the age of 22 can receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”).

But what happens to his/her SSDI benefits when, like most adults, that “adult child” to use the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) term, falls in love and gets married?

Who Qualifies as an “Adult Child” for Purposes of Disability Benefits?

Just as it does for adults, the SSA has a very strict definition of what constitutes a “disability” for children. To be considered “disabled,” a child must:

  • have a physical or mental condition(s) that very seriously limits his or her activities; and
  • the condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death.

Under the SSA rules, to receive SSDI benefits, an “adult child” is someone who:

  • Is over the age of 18 and disabled, or
  • Became disabled before the age of 22 and draws disability benefits under the work record of his/her parents or guardian, as a survivor or dependent.

Disabled Adult Children and Disability Benefits.

Disabled children who are over the age of 18 but who have no work history of their own can qualify for SSDI benefits pursuant to the SSA’s “Disabled Adult Child’s Benefit” (also known as “DAC”). Under the Disabled Adult Child’s Benefit, a child who is over 18 and has a disability that meets the SSA’s guidelines for a qualifying disability, can qualify for disability benefits if:

  • He/she became disabled before the age of 22,
  • and his parents worked and paid Social Security taxes.

DAC benefits are determined using the work record of the applicant’s parents—not the applicant himself. By using the parents’ work record, an earnings history can be established thus giving the “adult child” the opportunity to qualify for benefits.

Disabled Adult Children and Marriage.   

Unfortunately, marriage will disqualify a disabled adult child from continuing to receive DAC benefits. (The exception to this rule is if the DAC recipient marries another Disabled Adult Child.)

To find out if there are other options available to you in this situation (for example, applying for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits), consult with experienced disability counsel.

 We Know the Social Security System.

If you are applying for SSDI benefits or have been denied benefits, contact us. We are experienced disability attorneys. We have helped many people get benefits and we can help you, too. We have offices throughout Missouri. We also have offices in  Overland Park, Salina, Topeka, and Wichita Kansas, several cities in Illinois, and  in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case.  Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn or   contact us here to set up your free appointment.