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Are My Children Eligible for SSDI Benefits in the State of Florida?

As dependents, children require a great deal of resources to raise and take care. Their parents or guardians must be able to provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter, along with the proper amount of love and attention that every child needs in order to develop well emotionally. For many parents, raising children poses numerous challenges, but they are challenges that most parents gladly and capably overcome; however, for other parents, raising children poses challenges that sometimes cannot be overcome without additional help and support. Typically, these parents are disabled and unable to provide for their children themselves, or their children are disabled, requiring extensive and costly amounts of medical and therapeutic attention. It is for these individuals that Social Security dependent benefits are made available to children.

Eligibility Requirements for SSI or SSDI for Children

There are three ways in which a child may become eligible for Social Security or Social Security Income (SSI) benefits. They are as follows:

  • The child is low-income and disabled. Low-income disabled children may receive SSI benefits if they can prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that they have very few resources or income at their disposal. Because many children do not earn an income, part of their parents’ income will be attributed to the child in order to determine his or her eligibility. The state will assess the child’s needs for SSI as they would an adult’s.
  • The child does not qualify for SSI. Children who do not qualify for SSI benefits may still qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits. Whether or not they are disabled, if the child’s parent or guardian is disabled and collects either SSDI or Social Security Retirement benefits, then the child may be eligible to receive a percentage of what his or her parent receives. These benefits are called “auxiliary benefits,” and a child receiving auxiliary benefits is thereby known as an “auxiliary beneficiary.” An auxiliary beneficiary is eligible for up to 50 percent of their parents’ or guardian’s benefits, or up to the family maximum, which can be calculated at SSA.gov. The child would be eligible for benefits until they are 18 years of age, or 19 if still attending secondary school.
  • The adult has been disabled since childhood. The SSA has developed a category of benefits commonly referred to as “adult child” benefits, or benefits for “adults disabled since childhood,” which are benefits for young adults or adult children who were disabled by the time they reached the age of 18, or became disabled before they reached the age of 22. These disabled young adults may continue to receive auxiliary benefits long after the age of 18, so long as they continue to meet Social Security’s definition of disabled. Additionally, their auxiliary benefits can start at any point throughout their lifetime. This happens when a parent or guardian does not begin to receive SSDI benefits until retirement; at this point, the disabled young adult becomes eligible for child’s disability benefits.

What to Do if Your Children Were Denied Dependent Benefits

If you feel like your child or children have been wrongfully denied Social Security dependent benefits, it may be in your best interests to consult with a Fort Myers Social Security Disability Lawyer. The lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm can help you appeal your case to an Administrative Law Judge and get the compensation and support you and your child need to live a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. If you have been denied benefits, do not give up – contact our Fort Myers disability law firm at 1-888-LPENDAS or online to schedule a private consultation today.

Our Social Security Disability lawyers also serve clients in the Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Tampa areas.

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