The child also qualifies for Medicare at this point. If the child is only receiving SSI, the child gets healthcare through the state, which in Arizona, is AHCCCCS. Medicare tends to pay for more treatments and you can get a Medi-gap plan that covers anything that Medicare does not for fairly low rates so your child can get extremely good medical care.
If you have a child, or are someone who is going to have a life-long disability, you need to file for disability as soon as possible after you turn 18. The sooner you can establish disability before the age of 22, the better off you are. If vocational training is an option, you absolutely should try that first. Vocational rehabilitation is a wonderful service and work is always better than collecting disability. The vocational rehabilitation report is also going to be helpful if the vocational rehabilitation is not successful or the child can only work part-time and cannot meet the Social Security definition of full-time work. If you wait to file for disability when the child is 30, there may not be adequate medical records, as most doctors do not keep their records past seven years. SSI only pays $830 a month. This is a fortune when you have nothing, but SSDI can pay much more.
If the child is receiving SSI only, you might want to look into a special needs trust. The child is only allowed to have $2000 in assets if they are receiving SSI. Sometimes, a parent or other family member wants to give the child more money to make sure the child has some security or has extra money in an emergency. We don't want the child to lose the SSI benefits, so we establish a special needs trust where the money is held and the child can still receive SSI. If you choose to do this, please have an attorney that specializes in these to set the trust up. It is much easier to have the trust set up properly the first time than to save money and do it with an attorney who does not do this as a specialty and risk losing your child's benefits. If the child is receiving SSDI, the child does not need a special needs trust. The child can have as much money as the child wants in their own name.
The child's parents will eventually retire (or become disabled or die, but let's stick with the best case scenario), if the child is already receiving SSI benefits, it is easy to switch over to the SSDI benefits at that point. You do not want to try proving someone was disabled when they were 22 at that point. If the child is already receiving SSI, all you need to do is contact Social Security, preferably at your local office, and they will make the proper adjustments.
Having a disabled adult child can be complicated. Our main goal when representing these cases is to make sure the child is taken care of and receives the maximum amount allowed by Social Security and the best medical care. You might also want to look at ALTCS for your child (Arizona Long Term Care Services), depending on the needs of the child. If you have any questions, please contact The Foster Law Firm at (480)621-7231.