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What Happens to SSI When my Child Turns 18?

What Happens to My Child’s SSI When They Turn 18?

For many purposes, adulthood starts, and childhood ends when one reaches the age of 18. And just like many things at this point in life, SSI benefits can change as well. According to the policies set by the Social Security Administration, claimants who have filed for childhood benefits will only receive them until they reach the age of 18. While it is unlikely that a disability has disappeared by the time your child is age 18, you may be wondering if they will still qualify for some form of benefits from the SSA. The answer is likely, yes. 

 

Full-Time Students

One exception to the cessation of childhood disability benefits on a child’s 18th birthday is if the claimant is still, or has become a full-time student. In this event, you will not need to have your child go through the redetermination process, as long as you can prove they are a full-time student in either an elementary or secondary school. To verify the student requirement, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration by providing them with a completed statement of attendance that will need to have received approval by authorized school officials. Once student status has been verified, they will continue until the child graduates or reaches the age of 19, whichever event comes first. 

 

Redetermination of Eligibility

At the age of 18, a redetermination of disability is required to determine if the claimant who recently qualified under childhood disability would still have a condition that would qualify them under adult disability. The reason for the need for redetermination is simple. There are two major differences between childhood and adult disability determinations. 

 

Definition Differences

One major difference is the way that childhood disability is defined versus adult disability. Children are not expected to be employed at that age, so this is not a factor in the definition of childhood disability. A childhood disability will require marked or severe impairments in learning, task completion, self-care, social interaction, manipulating objects, or poor health.  For an adult to qualify for disability, they will need to be able to demonstrate an inability to work as a result of their disability. 

 

Medical Differences

Illness and disability can have different effects on a child versus an adult. A child that now has an illness or disability may not respond the same way to it as an adult as they did when they were a child. Because of this, the Social Security Administration has separate lists of impairments for adults and children, referred to as Part A and Part B, respectively. While there are some impairments that will fall into both categories, the criteria may be different for judging disability. The children’s listing also contains several conditions that are not applicable as an adult, such as certain growth impairments. 

 

Filing for a Redetermination of Benefits

The process of filing for a redetermination of benefits is similar to the original application process, though it is typically shorter. Once your child reaches age 18, your local social security office will contact you via mail with a notification letter. After receiving the letter, you will need to schedule an interview with you, your child, and the social security office to determine eligibility. After the interview has been completed, that information, along with other technical and medical information, will be reviewed by the Bureau of Disability Determination. The determination will be made using this information along with an assessment of the future possibility of employment of the claimant. You may be asked to take your child to a medical appointment to verify that the medical information presented is updated. After all of the information is reviewed, you will receive a letter from the Social Security Administration regarding their decision.

 

Eligibility Requirements for Adult Disability

To meet the requirements for adult disability, your child will have to qualify using their own income and assets, instead of yours. To meet the government’s disability standard, they will need to have a minimal income and less than $2,000 in assets. Once they are determined eligible, the amount will be determined by the earned and unearned income they receive. For every dollar of unearned income and every two dollars of earned income, there will be a one-dollar deduction of the SSI amount. In any event that the amount of the benefit reaches zero, the benefit will end. Though it is important to note that even if the beneficiary has one dollar of SSI payment, they will still be eligible for Medicaid benefits, so if healthcare coverage is necessary, you should plan accordingly. 

 

Adult List of Impairments

While there is a long list of impairments that can qualify an adult for disability, most will fall under one of the 14 main categories including:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions resulting in a loss of function
  • Special Senses and Speech issues, which can include blindness and deafness
  • Respiratory disorders that result in restriction or obstruction
  • Cardiovascular conditions which affect the proper functioning of the heart
  • Digestive system issues, such as liver dysfunction
  • Genitourinary disorders, such as diabetic nephropathy
  • Hematological disorders, such as bone marrow failure
  • Skin disorders, such as chronic infections and burns
  • Endocrine disorders, such as pituitary gland disorders
  • Congenital disorders, such as Down syndrome
  • Neurological disorders, such as ALS and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mental disorders, such as schizophrenia
  • Cancers depending on the extent of movement
  • Immune system disorders, such as HIV

 

What Can You Do if Assets Are a Concern?

If your child has more than $2,000 in assets when they turn 18, which can make them ineligible for SSI, you may want to consider creating a special trust to hold their money. A “First Party Supplemental Needs” trust can be created by a guardian of the court, parent, or grandparent. Any assets that are put into this trust will not count towards the $2,000 in assets that a beneficiary is allowed to have. The only catch to this type of trust is that if there are any funds left in it when the beneficiary dies, then the balance of the funds will go to the state as a form of reimbursement for the medical care costs the state provided when they were alive. 

Another Option is a “Third-Party” supplemental needs trusts. This involves a family fund where the assets are never in the SSI beneficiary’s name, but the trustee will be able to distribute these assets to fund the beneficiary’s care. In this case, the funds would not count as the beneficiary’s assets, nor would any balance revert to the state in the event of their death. This can help to provide a disabled adult with the money they need to handle any care that is not covered by other services. 

 

What Happens if the Redertermination Results in a Denial?

In the event that your redetermination comes back denied, it does not mean that the process is necessarily over. As with any original claim, you will have the right to appeal the decision. The Social Security Administration acknowledges that many appeals will result in continuances, which means you still have a decent chance of being approved even if you were initially denied. 

 

What is Section 301?

If denied during a redetermination, you may also be eligible to continue to receive SSI payments under section 301. Applicants can be found eligible under Section 301 benefits if all of the conditions listed below are met. 

  • They must be currently participating in vocational rehab services, support services, or employment services.
  • They must have commenced the program in the month before their benefits had ended.
  • They must participate in the program for at least two months.
  • The Social Security Administration must determine that the completion of the program will reduce the chances of the claimant having to return to disability benefits. 

Benefits under Section 301 will continue to be paid until the Social Security Administration has decided that continued participation of the program is no longer leading to a decrease in the likelihood of returning to disability payments, or the claimant has ceased participating in the program. 

 

Can My Child Become Eligible for SSDI?

If your child was disabled before 22 years-old they may be able to collect SSDI based on the work record of their parents. To be eligible, the parents will have to have worked enough quarters to collect their Social Security and they are already receiving it. A young adult may also qualify if their parents have worked enough quarters and have died. The child that is now a disabled adult will receive the benefit if it can be shown that they can’t perform any substantial work that earns them more than $1090 each month. They would also qualify for Medicare after two years of claiming benefits. This can be the preferred option for many as there are not as many strict rules as SSI on sources of income and assets and the benefit tends is often higher. 

When your child turns 18, they may still qualify for SSI benefits as long as they meet SSA’s financial requirements and fall under the classification of an adult impairment that prohibits them from maintaining employment. Be proactive and schedule a meeting with the SSA office as soon as you receive a notification that your child’s disability benefits are going to expire so that you can begin the redetermination process as soon as possible. If your redetermination has been denied and you need assistance with the appeals process, contact Lilac City Law to schedule a consultation.

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I highly recommend everyone at Lilac City Law. They helped me through every step of the SSDI process. Thank you so much!!
Scott Poe
Scott Poe
00:24 02 Jul 20
I don’t know really where to start in order to cover the magnitude of professionalism, understanding, persistence and compassion Lilac City law showed me. From Randi to each one of her staff-they worked very hard on my case and pushed me to keep fighting in the midst of several set backs from disability. They were always atop of communicating with me and all others involved. I highly recommend them and not just because I received a favorable decision but because of the plan they executed; so even if the results were unfavorable-I would still not hesitate knowing I chose the right practice. Thank you for you compassion and patience😊
Joyce Kelly
Joyce Kelly
22:01 02 Jun 20
Randi serves humanity with compassion and grace in dealing with all matters of life and death. I would highly recommend her for all the services she offers.
Sarah Boban
Sarah Boban
20:14 16 Apr 20
I wholeheartedly recommend these people. I had a crazy case and at times I was a mess. My team, Randy, Pam, David, and, Marissa always treated me with kindness and compassion. Thank you guys so much for the huge difference you've made in my life.
Jenni Boo
Jenni Boo
23:24 12 Mar 20
I had my hearing yesterday for Social Security Disability. I was very nervous , but we won my case. Randy and the whole team at Lilac Law was very supportive and understanding! They truly want to help people win the benefits they deserve and I highly recommend them!
Tiffani Pelella
Tiffani Pelella
17:38 03 Mar 20
Initial meeting with David Morris went well. He treated me with respect and understanding. I felt that I was listened to. Even accommodated me when I arrived 1 hour early. Highly recommended.
Tom Richardson
Tom Richardson
18:09 06 Feb 20
The staff is so great, it was really great to work with them all, and they were able to help me tremendously! Thank you for a great experience!
Becki Lynn
Becki Lynn
23:43 28 Jan 20
Don't remember exactly when I first met with them, but they were absolutely amazing to work with and only took a few months for my disability claim to be approved.I highly recommend Lilac City Law.
Matt Napora
Matt Napora
17:46 06 Jan 20
Everyone needs to take care of their estate and make sure their family is well taken care of. Randi and her team will take very good care of you and protect you and your family’s future. You cannot go wrong using their services. Client service is their top priority!
Kim Benjamin
Kim Benjamin
21:52 02 Nov 19
Randi is a terrific lawyer and a terrific person. I wish we lived closer so that we could work with clients together more often.
Meghan Freed
Meghan Freed
17:31 02 Nov 19
They really CARE about their clients and work with passion! Highly recommend!!!
Jamile Moraes Pellicer
Jamile Moraes Pellicer
00:36 30 Oct 19
Randi and her team are knowledgeable, compassionate, and very helpful with their clients. I highly recommend Lilac City Law!
Connie Kaplan
Connie Kaplan
18:36 29 Oct 19
Excellent firm. They really care about their clients. You cannot go wrong with Randi and her team.
John Nachlinger
John Nachlinger
12:27 18 Oct 19
What a great place! Thanks again!
S Binks
S Binks
22:39 01 Oct 19
Randi and her Team helped me through my disability claim and they were there through every question I had. Great Customer Service! Timely returned calls and emails, very knowledgeable and helpful the entire time and even afterwards! Will definitely be working with Randi and her Team in the future!
Ronda Wheatley Ives
Ronda Wheatley Ives
17:02 21 Aug 19
Wow, these guys were so nice and easy to work with. It ended up that they couldn’t help us with what we needed, but the gentleman we worked with went above and beyond my expectations, and more. I could tell that they really care about people there, not just cases. He was super patient in explaining things to me when I didn’t understand, it wasn’t a stressful experience as I thought it would be. Thanks for everything guys!
Melanie S
Melanie S
06:09 21 Aug 19
Lilac City Law is an incredible firm! I had the pleasure of working with the amazing team at Lilac City Law for nearly 2 years. Their team is absolutely remarkable! They are extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and overall compassionate when it comes to working with their clients. I sought their assistance nearly 2 years ago and have continued to work with them. I had a great deal of interaction with more than just one member of the Lilac City Law team and therefore can attest to the fact that this group of individuals is absolutely unparalleled. Attorney, Randi Johnson, is an exceptionally skilled lawyer as well as an overall remarkable woman! Her support staff is incredible as well, including Cassandra, Pam, Marissa, David, etc. with all of them by your side you have been blessed and are going to receive the best results possible. I would absolutely recommend seeking assistance from this law firm, as they have the ability to change lives; they definitely did mine. Thank you all so, so much!
Torrey Tolmie
Torrey Tolmie
17:03 22 May 19
Lilac City Law went above and beyond to help my partner get her SSI. My partner had been trying to win for 12 years and finally won. We can't say thank you enough. Thank You Randi and team for all you have done.
Malick Darian White
Malick Darian White
21:33 29 Apr 19
Randi and team are amazing! We previously had our will and other documents prepared by another firm in the Seattle area where we are from. I met with Randi to update areas of my trust and was soooooo impressed with how much more she provides than the firm who first helped me. I love the short term care directive that she provides and think it is amazingly thoughtful!! Thank you so much Randi Johnson!!
Noah Gross
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17:36 01 Feb 19
I had a great experience with Randi and her team this past year when we worked with them to create our first-ever wills and trust. Planning for your untimely death and discussing personal finances aren't always fun topics, but we were appreciative of Randi's approach to these potentially uncomfortable conversations and especially liked the recorded legacy interview she conducted with us. Total 5-star experience!
Tine Reese
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20:39 30 Jan 19
I had a great experience with Randi and her team this past year when we worked with them to create our first-ever wills and trust. Planning for your untimely death and discussing personal finances aren't always fun topics, but we were appreciative of Randi's approach to these potentially uncomfortable conversations and especially liked the recorded legacy interview she conducted with us. Total 5-star experience!
Tine Reese
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20:37 30 Jan 19
My husband and I worked with Randi and her team to complete our last will and testament, advanced directive, and health care proxy in the summer of 2018. Randi, and her team, as well as David Morris, were exceptionally kind, very professional, and thorough. We had several meetings to go through the important stuff - the financial info, heirlooms, and disposition of my husband's motorcycle. At each meeting, Randi and her team listened to our intentions and concerns. At the signing ceremony, we got a huge binder with our info and a data stick for safekeeping. Included in our will is a review which will take place every other year. We also got a document which states who can take our children to give our babysitter in case something bad happens to us when we were out. I'm very satisfied with Lilac City Law, and their work. I would recommend them without qualification to anyone.
Anna Marie Martin
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23:52 29 Jan 19
Parents are so intentional about so many aspects of their children's lives. Few will forgo putting together a will. But, what if you don't die? What if you are just incapacitated? Are you prepared for the unexpected? Are you leaving your children at risk? If someone else does raise them, do you know that they will be raised according to your wishes? Have you even thought through what your wishes are? All these questions and more will be covered in the process of completing a Family Protection Plan with Randi Johnson at Lilac City Law. Having our Family Protection Plan in place gives me an incredible sense of comfort and peace of mind. I highly recommend Randi and the staff at Lilac City Law. Hopefully you never need her services, but isn't it better to be prepared than to leave things to chance?
Marchauna Rodgers
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03:16 22 Jan 19
My Husband and I were fortunate to work with Randi on his disability case-she mindfully guided us through that process -we were so pleased with the results that Lilac City Law was of course our choice to have when producing our family trust. Again a very professional, heartfelt experience that made what seems to be a difficult process very easy thanks to Randi and her staff. We always recommend Randi to our community of friends and family. Pat and Patty Murphy
Patty Murphy
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20:05 12 Jan 19
I became ill over two years ago now,at the age of 29.. I experienced seizure like movements that lasted for hours or even days at a time. The doctors were at a loss for a diagnosis so they called it a mental disorder. As I was unable to care for myself most days or work, I applied for social security and was denied. I sought the help of Lilac City Law, and was immediately greeted with compassion and action. My case was a hard one to win or prove. Amy Santa helped me and explained everything to me step by step.. She ALWAYS answered my questions and showed immense sympathy for all I was going through. My case went to trial and Amy was amazing in court and won me the benefits I so desperately needed. This process was so difficult and overwhelming on my own.. I couldn’t have done it without these amazing people and thanks to them I can focus on improving my health,and not worry about my family struggling. I’m thankful and very blessed to have had them on my side! Sincerely, Ashley Schauble
Ashley Baldwin
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01:33 11 Jan 19
Lilac City Law did an amazing job with my estate plan, which was something I had 'thought' about doing for a long time, but avoided... Fortunately, Randi and her team made the process very easy and approachable. I now feel relief knowing everything is in order for my two daughters in the (hopefully unlikely!) event something were to happen to me. Thank you Lilac City Law for helping me sleep better at night! :)
Amber McKenzie
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03:30 09 Jan 19
This has been an awesome experience from beginning to end. Randi and her team were super helpful in helping us wrestle through all the aspects of our estate plan. Randi’s knowledge of estate and wills were very obvious from the beginning and we are thankful for her and her staffs expertise. Thank you so much!
Kevin Bunce
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17:22 12 Dec 18
This firm is the go-to for family planning and protection your children. Randi and her team are excellent!
Melinda Grimaldi
Melinda Grimaldi
01:49 20 Nov 18
I needed to get my husband's advanced health directive for a procedure he was having and it was so easy to find in our perfectly tabbed out legal binder. I found it right away, made a copy and stored it right back in the binder. Thanks for making us get it, and for making it easy to find and understand.
Jessica Gruver Koefod
Jessica Gruver Koefod
19:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend this law firm. They have the experience and skills to help people with their plans and their future. From their work with others, they take a pragmatic approach to law and don't over complicate things unnecessarily. With that said, if a matter is complex they are very capable of handling it.
Christine Matus
Christine Matus
09:29 05 Sep 18
Randi demonstrates a beautiful balance of expertise and compassion while dealing with difficult circumstances. I'm very thankful we had her in our corner! I can't reccomend her strongly enough.
Darin Pike
Darin Pike
16:47 25 Jul 18
Randi and her staff are the best! They help you with your case and are there if you have any questions.I highly recommend them!
Tammy Reedy
Tammy Reedy
21:56 18 Jul 18
Randi did a wonderful job of asking simple questions to help us determine exactly what type of trust we needed to match our goals. Thank you so much, Randi, for taking time out of your busy schedule to get us were we need to be!
Michelle Darnell
Michelle Darnell
02:52 17 Jun 18
Such a great meeting today with Randi. Tell me who wants to talk about wills and final arrangements, right? Well, my husband and I did this today and Randi, you made it easier than we expected. What a blessing to work with such talent and know you have our backs. Between you and Cary Wong. We will be sitting pretty, no matter what life brings us. THANK YOU!
Missy Schaaf
Missy Schaaf
01:20 31 Mar 18
Vincent Adolph
Vincent Adolph
13:30 26 Feb 18
Randi and her staff are great to work with - no surprises, and she made it all so easy. Now we have a will and health directives, so our children won't be burdened when the time comes. I highly recommend!
Sharon Robertson
Sharon Robertson
18:04 05 Feb 18
Randi and her team do amazing work. Thank you very much for what you do.
Erin Whitney-Neher
Erin Whitney-Neher
20:18 23 Jan 18
Randi are her staff are amazing! They are all very knowledgable, helpful and passionate about serving others. Every step of services are explained clearly and follow-up exceeded expectations. In addition, Randi is active in the community and regularly volunteers her time and talents putting on presentations focusing on educating others on specific topics. She has a passion for assisting those with special needs or situations. For legal assistance with heart, Lilac City Law is highly recommended!
Nadine Burgess
Nadine Burgess
18:14 25 Apr 17
Excellent staff. Very knowledgeable and go out of their way to get the job done! Would recommend to anyone looking for services they offer!
Jason Spade
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02:17 19 Oct 16
Randi was an excellent attorney. Her staff was excellent as well. I was treated with kindness, compassion and dedication towards winning my complex and difficult case, which ultimately happened. I am very happy that I chose Lilac City Law to represent me. I would highly recommend them!!!
Richard D. Seibert
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04:22 30 Jul 16
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