Can My Child Lose SSI Benefits?

Episode 9:  Louisville Social Security Disability Attorney Trevor Smith addresses an important question from parents.  “On his/her 18th birthday, can my child lose SSI Benefits?”  There are a variety of reasons a minor-age child may receive Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI).  A common reason is ADHD and other learning disabilities.  However, once the child turns 18, he/she legally becomes an adult and the standard to qualify for SSI benefits change.

attorney trevor smith discusses why it's possible a child lose SSI benefits at age 18The new standard is whether your young adult can work a 40-hour week.  This is a significant departure from the rationale used to qualify as a minor.  In Episode 6, Trevor discussed how a child may qualify for SSI benefits.

Your son or daughter will now be required to undergo a Continuing Disability Review (CDR).  This formal case review will involve school records, medical history and medications, feedback from teachers and the IEP, if it’s being utilized.  A CDR may have previously been requested as the child grew older, now however, it’s more likely to be required.  It’s possible the results of the CDR may substantiate the decision affirming that your child lose SSI benefits.

There’s an Important Deadline

If there’s a decision to cease the benefits, your attorney can file an appeal.  It’s important to understand there is a brief, 10-day window to decide whether the benefit checks should continue to be sent, during the appeals process.  The letter the you receive will stipulate that you have the option to continue the benefits during an appeal.  The other option is to stop the benefits, until the appeal has been decided.

Will I Have to Repay the Benefits?

When your child turns 18 and undergoes a CDR to determine his/her qualification status, you can decide to continue receiving the checks.  If the results of the CDR lead the Social Security Administration to decide to cease the payments, your social security attorney can file an appeal.  This appeal can take a year or longer.  If the appeal is unsuccessful, and you decided to continue receiving the benefits, that amount will usually need to be repaid to the government.

There’s Another Option

You can also decide not to receive the benefit payments, during the appeal.  Should your attorney win your appeal, then you have a right to receive the back-pay of the benefits your child should have received during the appeals window.

Will My 18 Year Old’s Benefit Payment Increase?

While your child’s legal status changes upon his/her 18th birthday from minor to adult, the amount he/she receives in SSI benefits will not increase.  Even if the appeal is successful, that doesn’t mean there will be an increase in the amount of the benefit payments.

The Smith and Wax Law Office is open, during the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can come to the office to meet with Trevor Smith.  Safety procedures including having your temperature taken and wearing masks will be required.  The firm also provides hand sanitizer.  When you come to the office, documents can be easily reviewed and signed.  However, if you prefer not to come to the office, you can always call the firm and handle the situation over the phone.  This will add some time to the process because documents will need to be mailed to you for your signatures and returned.  Either way you decide to proceed is fine.

Important Disclaimers:  The information provided on this podcast is for general informational purposes only.  It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  You should seek the advice of an attorney for guidance related to your specific situation.  This podcast maybe freely shared, but may not be the modified or edited in any way.  This is an attorney advertisement.   Principal office is located in Louisville, KY.  Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson.