Children Receiving SSI Disability Becoming Adults

SSI Recipients Turning 18

According to the  Social Security Administration, when a child receiving   Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits turns 18 they must be reevaluated by Social Security. This process is sometimes called an “age 18 redetermination.” You should know that the process in which an adult is assessed and how children are assessed are different. This redetermination may result in a loss of benefits, but be assured that the Social Security Administration does make special considerations for this situation to ensure fairness to the insured.


There are several different reasons that a minor child (under the age of 18) may receive social security disability payments. Perhaps the disabled parent dies, then the child is eligible for up to 75% of the disabled parent’s benefits. These are known as Title II benefits and have nothing to do with the disability of the child.

These benefits are usually paid to the child’s caregiver and are intended to be used in the everyday care for the child while he or she is still a minor and unable to care for themselves. The child in this situation will only receive benefits until he or she turns 18. In some cases, the benefits could extend to the age of 19 if the child is still in high school.

Other children receive Social Security Disability due to their own disabilities. Once again this money is usually paid to the guardian of the child. The qualifications for receiving Social Security Disability benefits because of a childhood condition are constantly being reviewed. Once a child qualifies, however, he will continue to qualify unless it can be shown that the disabling condition has improved.

Social Security Disability Case Reviews

All Social Security Disability cases are reviewed periodically. These reviews are called “Continuing Disability Reviews” and occur every three years. When a child reaches adulthood (turns 18) they will always have a continuing disability review. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a different set of requirements for Social Security Disability for adults than it has for children, that is the reason for the “Continuing Disability Reviews.” For example one of the most common reasons that a child might receive Social Security Disability is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.) This condition often qualifies children for Social Security Disability but it does not generally qualify an adult to receive Social Security Disability. In a  case such as this, it is common for a child to lose Social Security Disability benefits after he or she turns 18 years old.

Please keep in mind that you may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits at age 18 which you had not qualified for before. The most notable example of this is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Since SSI is based upon income, many children with disabilities do not qualify due to the fact that their parents make too much money. However, when you turn 18, a redetermination will be made as to your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as an adult depending on your resources.

Contact Jones Brown Law

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When an individual turns 18, they will be assessed according to the current standards for adults. If you have a question about your or your child’s eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits, you should contact Eric Brown, an attorney with the Law Offices of Jones Brown law.  Eric’s has represented clients in close to one hundred Social Security hearings since he began practicing Social Security law.  He has helped Social Security claimants get benefits who have both physical and mental disabilities. Eric has the experience and knowledge needed to navigate this often confusing, frustrating and straight-lined system that is the Social Security Administration. CLICK HERE to contact Eric Brown now and get the answers to your Social Security Administration questions.