How Much Does A Child Get If A Parent Is On Disability? | Full Guide

As a parent, providing for your children is one of the most important things on your mind. Many people who become disabled and no longer able to work find themselves in a very stressful situation. They still want to provide for their family, but it becomes difficult when only receiving Social Security disability benefits. However, your children might be able to receive Social Security benefits as well if you receive disability benefits. The amount that they receive depends on the type and amount of benefits that you receive. Keep reading and we will tell you everything you need to know about Social Security benefits for children.


Qualifications For Your Child To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits

Just because you receive disability benefits does not necessarily mean that your child can automatically receive benefits as well. There are a few requirements that must be met before your child can qualify for these payments. First, you must receive SSDI benefits. This means that you must have enough work history to qualify through the Social Security disability insurance program. If you only receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI benefits), then your child will not be eligible for any payments as a result of your benefits. However, they might be eligible for child SSI payments on their own. SSI benefits for children are handled separately from child benefits under the SSDI program.

Next, the child must be your biological child, adopted child, or dependent stepchild. In the case of a stepchild, they must meet the IRS definition of a dependent to qualify as your child. Finally, the child must be unmarried and under the age of 18. If the child is over 18, they might still be able to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration in certain situations.

If the child is over 18, he or she can still receive benefits if the child is under the age of 19 and enrolled full time in a secondary school. Finally, the child can also receive benefits if he or she is disabled and the disability occurred before turning 22. Unless the child meets the rules described in this section, then he or she will be ineligible for benefit payments.

So, how do you get your child signed up for benefits? If you have applied for disability and been approved, then the process is fairly simple. You will need both your Social Security number and the child’s SSN. You will also need the child’s birth certificate. If enrolling a child over 18, then you will need proof of enrollment as a full-time student. In the event of a disabled child, then you will need documentation of the child’s disability or impairment. The Social Security Administration will inform you if any additional documentation is required.


Child Benefits — How Much Are They & How Long Can You Get Them?

So, how much will your child receive? Generally, a child can receive up to 50% of the parent’s benefit amount. For example, if the disabled parent is receiving $1,500 per month in benefits, then the child could receive up to $750 per month. There is a family maximum that can be received each month that will be discussed more later in this article.

In some cases, the child might be receiving survivor benefits. This means that the parent is deceased, and the child is entitled to receive benefits. In this case, the child can receive up to 75% of the parent’s monthly benefit amount.

Eligibility for your child to receive benefits typically ends at age 18. However, benefits can be extended past 18 years of age in some cases. You will receive a notice from the SSA three months before your child turns 18 notifying you that their benefits will end. If the child is still enrolled full-time at a secondary (high school) or elementary school, then benefits can continue until the child turns 19. Benefits stop when the child graduates or two months after turning 19, whichever comes first. Also, a disabled child can receive child benefits past age 18 as long as the disability occurred before the age of 22.


Overview Of Adult Child Benefits

This situation most often happens when a child becomes disabled before the age of 22. In those cases, the child will not have a long enough earnings record on his own to qualify for SSDI benefits. So, they are allowed to collect benefits through the parent’s earnings record. They could also qualify for SSI benefits, although the amount of money you receive on SSI is typically much lower than SSDI disability payments.

These payments can continue for as long as the child is disabled. Remember that the disability must have occurred before the child turns 22. Otherwise, the child will not qualify for a children’s benefit and their only option will be to utilize SSI benefits if they do not have enough earnings history to qualify for SSDI. The conditions that qualify for disability are essentially the same for the child as for the parent.


Can Grandchildren Receive SSDI Benefits?

In some cases, you might be able to receive dependent benefits for a grandchild. However, there are some eligibility rules that must be met. If you have adopted a grandchild or step-grandchild, then the same rules would generally apply that would apply in the case of a child. However, your grandchildren might still qualify in some cases even if you have not adopted them.

You can get a disability payment for grandchildren that you are raising if you qualify for SSDI and their parents are deceased or their parents suffer from a qualifying disability. Similarly, if you provide regular support for the grandchild or if they lived with you for a year before you qualified for SSDI, then they might also be entitled to payments. The disability benefit amount that they receive is still based on the amount that the grandparent receives each month.


Maximum Family Benefit

In households with multiple children, it is possible that the dependent payments might hit the monthly family maximum and need to be reduced. There is a maximum amount that family members can receive each month. That amount is 150% to 180% of the primary benefit amount. For instance, consider a family where the father became disabled and had 5 children at home. If each of the five children received 50% of the father’s benefit amount, then that means that the household would be receiving 350% of the primary benefit amount.

In that case, the father would still receive 100% of his benefit. Each of the children’s benefits would be reduced proportionately so that the entire family benefit did not exceed 180% of the father’s benefit. This method still helps provide financial support to the family while not exceeding the benefit limits allowed by Social Security.


The Bottom Line

If you receive SSDI benefits and have children, then those children are likely entitled to payments as well. Even a disabled adult child can still qualify for payments under this program in certain cases. This program can help replace the disabled parent’s income and help provide financially for the children and family. If you have any questions or need help with the process, then you should always seek the help and advice of a qualified disability lawyer.


Frequently Asked Questions


How much does a child get if a parent is on SSI?

Many people ask, “Can my child get a check if I am on disability? The answer is yes, but only if the parent is on SSDI. If a parent is only receiving SSI, then the child is not entitled to any payments under this program. A child can only receive child benefits if the parent qualifies for SSDI payments. In that case, you should talk to an attorney or look for other low income assistance like food stamps to help provide for the child.

Do dependents get disability back pay?

Yes, Social Security benefits for the child of a disabled parent can include back pay. Those benefits would typically still be 50% of the parent’s benefit amount. For example, if the parent receives $5,000 in back pay dating back to the date of disability, then the child might be entitled to receive $2,500 in benefits as well.


What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?

The main difference is whether or not the disabled person has sufficient work history to qualify for disability insurance. If the person has worked for at least 10 years, then they will generally be entitled to SSDI. The benefits from this program are higher because the person has paid into the system through Social Security taxes. However, someone with no work history can qualify for SSI. SSI benefits do not require a work history, but the benefit amounts are typically much lower.

Elliot Marks

Elliot Marks

Author & Social Security Advisor

Elliot Marks has spent over 10 years providing clear and concise information to help Americans navigate the complex nuances of social security and many other government services in the United States. Elliot has a passion for helping those in need of these services to be able to find timely access to news and information that is relevant and helpful to their daily lives.