Social Security Counseling Center

Is Your Special Needs Child Turning 18?


“Frequently Asked Questions”

What is a transition special needs child?

A medically challenged child about to turn 18, graduating or leaving high school.

Why hasn’t my child been eligible for benefits before turning 18?

When applying for SSI benefits for a minor child, the law requires consideration of any and all income of the parents of the child living in the same household. Unless the family is at a poverty level of income, the child is not eligible for any SSI benefit due to the resources of the parent(s).

What changes when my child turns 18?

The law no longer looks to the resources of the parents to determine whether the non-medical requirements are met. The now adult child becomes eligible even if living in the same household of the parent(s).

So now that my special needs child is turning 18, what are the benefits?

SSI is a federal program for the medically challenged adult with limited income and resources. If medically approved, your adult child would be eligible for a fixed monthly benefit along with full Medicaid.

How do we get started?

You must make an appointment with SSA to file the claim in person at the field office nearest your home. You can make this appointment by calling: (844) 560-4909 , Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.

However, we strongly recommend that you call us for a free consultation before making the appointment. Having a clear plan in place before starting the claim can often result in the claim being allowed without long delays and in many instances, without the need for a hearing. Each case is unique and discussing the facts of your child’s claim with an experienced and knowledgeable social security attorney can be very helpful.

If I decide to use an attorney, how much does it cost?

All fees are contingent. This means we only get paid if the claim is approved and benefits are past due. Social Security will pay the attorney 25% of the past due benefit or $6,000 – whichever is less. If the claim is unsuccessful, there is no fee.

I understand that once a parent of a seriously disabled adult child retires, dies or becomes disabled, the disabled child may qualify for a much higher benefit on the parent’s social security account. Is that correct? Yes, it is possible. The rules governing disabled adult child benefits are very specific and often considered complicated. There are many requirements that must be satisfied before this higher benefit can be paid. We will be happy to go over these requirements and answer all of your questions. There is never a charge for this consultation.

What should be our first step in getting our 18 year old, special needs child qualified for SSI?

Call us before you get started for a full, complete and thorough discussion of the facts of your child’s case. No two cases are ever alike. Each case has its own unique set of facts. The biggest mistake most parents make is to compare their child’s claim to another child’s claim. The second biggest mistake is not having a plan before filing the claim. We are here to help you and guide you through this often complicated process.

Social Security Counseling Center

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (248) 281-4247.

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