I am disabled. Can my children get disability payments?
Whether your children can get benefits depends on what kind of disability benefits you qualify for. First, you would have to qualify for and receive Social Security disability paments for your children to receive benefits. If you receive state short-term disability benefits or a disability check through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your children won't qualify for benefits.
Children are eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if one or both of their parents also receive SSDI benefits. The average maximum amount of SSDI a child may receive is half of the parent's disability benefits. However, if the disabled parent's spouse and other children also receive benefits, this amount will be lowered. (Social Security sets a family meximum for the amount of benefits one household can receive. If a family's total benefits exceed the set limit, each member's benefit is reduced proportionately.)
Eligible minors, including biological and adopted children, as well as step-children and dependent grandchildren, may receive SSDI if they are unmarried and under age 18. There are a few exceptions to this rule. A child can be 18 to 19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12) or older than 18 or older and disabled (if the disability started before age 22). If your child is over 18, you will also need to provide medical proof of the child's disability and/or his or her continuing enrollment in high school.
For more information on the children's dependent benefit from Social Security, see the article below.
updated by: Beth Laurence, J.D.