The transition from childhood to adulthood is always complicated- especially when it comes to Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In this blog post we’re going to shed some light on this transition period and hopefully erase any confusion surrounding age and childhood SSI benefits. Today’s question is:
If my child is receiving SSI benefits, what will happen when he or she turns 18?
If you have a child under the age of 18 who is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you have probably wondered about the transition from childhood to adulthood. Because certain changes in age, living situation, or financial standing can compromise your child’s benefits, it is important that you are thoroughly prepared for the changes that will occur when your child turns 18.
In the year following your child’s 18th birthday, the SSA will conduct a “redetermination”. Essentially this means that the SSA will evaluate your son or daughter’s condition and finances to determine if he or she qualifies for SSI as an adult.
When a child applies for SSI, they are evaluated based on how their medical condition affects their ability to perform age appropriate tasks in their daily lives. When an adult applies for SSI, they are evaluated based on their ability to get and maintain a job.
Adults and children have separate medical eligibility requirements. You can access the adult disability listings, here: Adult Blue Book Listings.
When a child under the age of 18 applies for SSI, they are typically subject to parental deeming. Parental deeming is the allocation of a parent’s finances to the child’s record. After a child turns 18, their own finances will be used to determine eligibility—not a parent or guardian’s. In cases where a child earns less than a parent, it is likely that the benefit amount will actually increase.
In the months before your child turns 18, the SSA will send your family a letter containing information regarding the redetermination process. You and your child will then be required to attend an interview at your local Social Security Field office. It is important that you collect all relevant medical and financial documents to present to the SSA prior to your scheduled interview. You can find a complete list of necessary documents on the SSA’s Adult Disability Checklist.
At this interview a representative will ask you and your child questions to determine how their condition impairs their ability to work. At this time, you should present all of the documents that you have collected.
Once your have completed the redetermination interview, you will receive a letter containing the SSA’s decision. If your child is approved, he or she will begin to receive payments. If your child is denied, you can appeal this decision.
If you have a question regarding any aspect of Social Security Disability benefits, please leave it in the comment section below and we might answer it in a future blog post.