If you are the legal guardian of a child, you can collect benefits as well. Grandparents who are taking legal responsibility of their grandchildren can collect benefits. When in doubt the rule is: if you are legally responsible for a child's expenses, you can collect child's benefits for that child.
Overdue child support can be collected against your SSDI check so beware! If you have a judgement against you, your back pay from Social Security is going to be seized and your check may be garnished before you get paid.
What if your child is disabled? If the child has a parent who is dead, disabled or retired, the child can collect disability under the parent's Social Security record. The child can receive child disability benefits until the age of 18, and after that the child can receive adult disabled child's benefits. The only trick is that you have to prove the disability started before the age of 22. You can file for disability whenever you want. You can file when the child is fifty years old, but you need to have proof that the disability started before the age of 22. This is why you want to file for SSI benefits for the child.
Children can file for SSI benefits if the parents meet financial guidelines. If the child has two parents, the parents together mush make less than $3731 a month. If the child has only one parent, the parent can make $3009 a month. Once the child turns 18, the child is subject to adult SSI income levels. If the child is found to be disabled as an adult before the age of 22, then once a parent retires, becomes disabled or dies, then the child can collect off of the parent's Social Security record and get adult disabled child benefits. The child will have already proven disability before the age of 22 because the child has been receiving SSI benefits since that time and can just switch over to the new type of benefits. The child can then get more money and Medicare benefits. This is why you do not want to wait very long to apply for benefits once your child turns 18 if you think they will be disabled for life.
SSI has financial guidelines that you have to follow or you may lose your disability benefits. If you want to leave money for your disabled child or have some money put away for emergencies or extras, you need to look at a special needs trust. SSI recipients aren't allowed to have more than $2000 in their name or $3000 if they are married. A special needs trust holds extra money for the child and does not affect SSI benefits. You need a special needs trust attorney to set one up. Please do not use a regular wills and trusts attorney for this as they generally do not know how to set one up. It is much cheaper and easier to use an expert.
Because children are not expected to work, they have a different disability standard than adults. Children are considered disabled if they have a condition that results in marked and severe functional limitations.
If you have any questions on how child disability benefits work, please contact The Foster Law Firm at (844)303-0735.