When you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive dependents benefits based on your earnings record.
Who is eligible?
Your biological child, adopted child, dependent stepchild or dependent grandchild are eligible for benefits. To be eligible, the child must be unmarried and under 18 years of age; or be 18-19 years old and a full-time high-school student.
A child who is 18 or older and was disabled before the age of 22 may also qualify for benefits on your record. These benefits can continue for as long as the adult child is disabled. If you apply for benefits for a disabled child, you will need to provide medical evidence to prove the disability.
If a parent was employed, paid Social Security taxes, then died, his or her child will also be eligible for benefits.
How much can each child receive?
Each qualified child within your family may be eligible for up to 50% of your monthly benefit. However, the total amount of money that can be paid to a family is approximately 150–180 percent of your disability benefit.
When do benefits stop?
Unless a child is disabled, benefits usually stop when children reach age 18. However, if the child is 18 and is still a full-time high-school or elementary school student, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
A disabled child whose families have very little income or resources can collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits until they reach 18 years of age. At that point, they may be eligible for adult SSI benefits. A child who is approved for SSI benefits can also receive Medicaid.