Disabled Adult Child Disability Claim

What is a Disabled Adult Child (DAC) Claim?

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A Disabled Adult Child (DAC) claim is defined by the Social Security Administration as a benefit program for adults who have a disability that began before they became 22 years old. It is considered a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim because the child’s benefits are paid according to the parent’s Social Security earnings record.

For a disabled adult to become entitled to this “child” benefit, one of his or her parents:

  • Must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits; or
  • Must have died and have worked long enough under Social Security.

These benefits also are payable to an adult who received dependent’s benefits on a parent’s Social Security earnings record prior to age 18, if he or she is disabled at age 18. The disability decision is made using the disability rules for adults.

SSDI disabled adult “child” benefits continue as long as the individual remains disabled.”

 - (SSA Publication EN-05-10026 PDF)

Qualifications for Disabled Adult Child Benefits

There are more issues that must be brought to light in order to find out whether or not someone would qualify for Disabled Adult Child benefits.
  • Because a person must prove that they became disabled before the age of 22, medical records and school records that occurred prior to the age of 22 are extremely important to obtain and submit to the Social Security Administration for consideration. Because many medical facilities only keep their records for 7 years, it is crucial to file a DAC claim as soon as possible, so this information is obtained before it is destroyed.
  • If the person has worked and earned enough quarters of coverage to apply for disability under their own earnings, he or she may be disqualified for the receipt of DAC benefits.
  • If a person is married to a non-disabled person, this would also disqualify them from applying for DAC benefits. However, past marriages do not prevent the filing of a DAC claim.

How do you file a Disabled Adult Child disability claim?

The deceased, disabled or retired parent’s Social Security number must be obtained. If the claimant has trouble obtaining this number on their own, Social Security may be able to help. If one has already filed a claim for SSI, this may serve as a DAC filing until the SSI filing is closed out.

What is the benefit of filing a Disabled Adult Child claim?

If the parent is still alive, the DAC claimant will receive 50% of the parent's Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), subject to the Family Maximum (FMAX). If the parent is deceased, then the DAC claimant would receive 75% of the parent’s PIA, subject to the FMAX. When the FMAX is reached, benefits for the auxiliaries are divided between them.

Another reason why filing a DAC claim is beneficial is because the DAC claimant also qualifies for Medicare after a two-year waiting period. For this reason and the aforementioned, exploring the possibility of a DAC claim is something a younger claimant should definitely consider.

More information can be found on the Social Security website, or the PDF publication, "Benefits For Children With Disabilities" cited above.

Special thanks to Attorney Mira Chopra for providing additional valuable information.

Have questions about Disabled Adult Child disability claims?

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