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Rules for those receiving SSD benefits on behalf of children


A Texan who is receiving Social Security disability benefits on behalf of a child must be aware of certain requirements the Social Security Administration has in place. At the time the child turns 18, the benefits will stop the month before except in cases in which the child is disabled or is a full-time student at an elementary or secondary school and is not married. Approximately three months prior to the child turning 18, the SSA will send a letter to the caretaker to explain how the benefits can continue. The child will also receive a letter as well as a student form.

If the benefits stop when they turn 18, they can restart if he or she becomes disabled prior to reaching the age of 22 or if he or she is a full-time elementary school or secondary school student prior to turning 19. The student will be required to contact the SSA to reapply for disability. If the 18-year-old remains in school, the benefits can continue until age 19 provided he or she is a full-time student. If the birthday comes during the school term, the benefits can continue until that term is finished or for two months after the birthday, whichever is first.

The SSA must be told if the child gets married, is convicted of a crime, is no longer a full-time student, goes to a different school or is suspended or expelled. If the child is employed and the employer is paying for school, the SSA must be told. If there is a vacation period of four months or less, the child can continue receiving benefits if the plan is to go back to school when the vacation ends. If the child is disabled, the benefits can continue after he or she turns 18 if the disability began before age 22. It is also possible that the child can get Supplemental Security Income.

For those with a stepchild who receives benefits and the parent and stepparent are divorcing, with the benefits stemming from the stepparent's work, the SSA must be informed at the time the divorce is finalized. The stepchild's benefits will stop the month after the divorce is finalized. Caring for a child with a disability can be made easier through Social Security disability. However, there are rules of which the parent or stepparent must be aware. Discussing the matter with an attorney who is well-acquainted with the rules and requirements of SSD benefits can help in handling a case.

Source: ssa.gov, "What You Need to Know When You Get Social Security Disability Benefits -- Benefits for children, pages 18-19," accessed on Dec. 26, 2016

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