Will My Ssdi Increase When My Child Turns 18?

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November 7, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Yes, your SSDI may increase when your child turns 18. When your child turns 18, there is a possibility that your SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits may increase.

SSDI benefits for children of disabled parents typically cease when the child turns 18 unless the child is still a full-time student. However, in some cases, the benefit amount may increase if the child’s disability meets the criteria for adult disability benefits.

This increase is based on the earnings record of the disabled parent. The Social Security Administration will assess the child’s disability and determine if they are eligible for continued benefits as an adult. If approved, the amount of SSDI benefits may be adjusted accordingly, providing additional financial assistance for both the disabled parent and the adult child.

Will My Ssdi Increase When My Child Turns 18?

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The Impact Of Your Child Turning 18 On Your Ssdi Benefits

As a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, it’s crucial to understand how certain milestones in your child’s life can impact the amount you receive. One such milestone is when your child turns 18 years old. This significant age brings about changes in your child’s eligibility for benefits and subsequently affects your SSDI benefits. In this article, we will delve into the background of SSDI benefits and eligibility criteria, explore how having a child may impact your benefits, and discuss the age-related changes in your child’s eligibility and how they affect your benefits.

Background On Ssdi Benefits And Eligibility Criteria

Before we explore the impact of your child turning 18 on your SSDI benefits, let’s first establish a solid understanding of SSDI benefits and the eligibility criteria. SSDI is a federal program designed to provide financial support to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. To qualify for SSDI, you must meet certain criteria:

  • You must have a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from substantially engaging in any gainful activity.
  • Your impairment must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
  • You must have earned sufficient work credits through paying Social Security taxes. The number of credits required depends on your age when you became disabled.

Once you meet these eligibility criteria, you may become eligible for SSDI benefits based on your work record.

How Having A Child May Impact Your Ssdi Benefits

Having a child can potentially impact your SSDI benefits, both before and after they turn 18. When you have a child, your SSDI benefits may include an additional amount known as “child’s benefits” or “auxiliary benefits.” These benefits are payable to qualifying children of disabled workers and can increase the total amount of benefits your family receives.

It’s important to note that child’s benefits are separate from your own benefits and do not affect the amount you receive. These benefits are provided to help support your child financially, and the amount they are eligible to receive depends on various factors, including your work history and the number of eligible children you have. However, when your child turns 18, their eligibility for child’s benefits may change, which can impact your overall benefits.

Age-related Changes In Your Child’s Eligibility And How It Affects Your Benefits

When your child turns 18, they may experience changes in their eligibility for child’s benefits. Under SSDI rules, a child can continue to receive benefits if they are unmarried and either:

  • Are under 18 years old
  • Are a full-time student aged 18 to 19 years old
  • Have a disability that started before the age of 22

If your child was receiving child’s benefits and no longer meets any of these criteria after turning 18, their eligibility for benefits will cease. This change in your child’s eligibility can potentially impact the total amount of benefits your family receives.

It is essential to stay informed about the age-related changes in your child’s eligibility for benefits and how they impact your SSDI benefits. By understanding these changes, you can better prepare for any adjustments in your financial support.

Now that we have discussed the background of SSDI benefits and eligibility criteria, as well as the impact of having a child and the age-related changes in their eligibility, you have gained valuable insights into the potential impact of your child turning 18 on your SSDI benefits. Being aware of these changes can help you navigate the complex world of SSDI benefits and ensure you receive the appropriate support for you and your child.

Factors That Determine Whether Your Ssdi Benefits Will Increase

When your child with a disability turns 18, it’s natural to wonder how this milestone will impact your SSDI benefits. Understanding the factors that determine whether your benefits will increase can provide clarity during this transition. Three key factors to consider are the age dependency factor, the effect on your household income and eligibility, and the role of your child’s disability. Let’s explore each of these factors to gain a better understanding of how they might influence your SSDI benefits.

Explaining The Age Dependency Factor And Its Impact On Your Benefits

One important factor that determines whether your SSDI benefits will increase when your child turns 18 is the age dependency factor. SSDI benefits for children are typically higher than benefits for adults due to the additional costs associated with caring for a child with a disability. However, once your child reaches the age of 18, they are considered an adult in the eyes of the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the age dependency factor no longer applies.

This means that your SSDI benefits may decrease once your child turns 18, as they are no longer eligible for benefits as a dependent. However, it’s essential to remember that any decrease in your benefits does not necessarily translate to a loss of support. The SSA takes into account other factors like your household income and your child’s disability when determining your benefit amount.

How Your Child Turning 18 May Affect Your Overall Household Income And Eligibility

Your child turning 18 can have an impact on your overall household income and eligibility for SSDI benefits. Once your child reaches adulthood, their income and resources are no longer considered as part of your household income for determining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility.

However, it’s important to note that if your child is 18 or older and still lives with you, their income can affect your SSDI benefits if they contribute to your household expenses. This is known as in-kind support and maintenance. In this case, the SSA may reduce your benefits based on the value of the support your child provides.

Additionally, if your child’s income exceeds the threshold set by the SSA, they may become ineligible for SSI benefits. The impact of your child’s income on your household’s overall eligibility and benefit amount should be considered when determining whether your SSDI benefits will increase after they turn 18.

The Role Of The Child’s Disability In Determining Your Benefits After They Turn 18

While the age dependency factor may no longer apply after your child turns 18, the role of your child’s disability remains significant in determining your SSDI benefits. The SSA will evaluate your child’s disability under the adult standard criteria. This means that your child’s disability must meet certain criteria to be considered a qualifying disability for SSDI benefits.

If your child’s disability continues to meet the necessary criteria, they may be eligible for their own SSDI benefits as an adult. In some cases, if your adult child is unable to work due to their disability, they may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits independently, which may provide additional support for your household.

However, it’s important to note that the eligibility criteria for adult SSDI benefits are often more stringent than those for children. It’s recommended to consult with the SSA or a disability attorney to understand how your child’s disability will impact your benefits after they turn 18.

Navigating The Process Of Adjusting Your Ssdi Benefits When Your Child Turns 18

Navigating the Process of Adjusting Your SSDI Benefits When Your Child Turns 18

As a parent who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for your child, you may wonder what will happen when your child turns 18. Will your SSDI benefits stay the same or increase? Understanding the steps involved in this transition and knowing how to update your child’s disability status with the Social Security Administration (SSA) can help you navigate through this process smoothly.

The Steps Involved In Transitioning Your Child’s Benefits

When your child turns 18, the SSA evaluates their disability based on the adult disability standards. As a result, their eligibility for SSDI benefits may change. It’s important to understand the rules and criteria for adult eligibility to ensure a seamless transition.

Determine if your child meets the adult disability criteria

To continue receiving SSDI benefits, your child must meet the adult disability criteria set by the SSA. This involves demonstrating that their impairments prevent them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and are expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

Consider the impact of income and resources

Once your child turns 18, their income and resources will be evaluated differently than during their time as a minor. The SSA will assess whether they meet the financial requirements for SSDI benefits. This evaluation takes into consideration their own income and resources instead of considering the household income as it did when they were a minor.

How To Update Your Child’s Disability Status With The Social Security Administration

When your child is nearing their 18th birthday, it’s crucial to contact the SSA as soon as possible. You will need to inform them about the upcoming change in your child’s status and start the process of updating their disability status.

During this process, you will be required to provide documentation and evidence that supports your child’s continued disability. It is important to gather medical records, doctor’s letters, and any other relevant documentation that shows your child’s impairments and their impact on their ability to work.

The SSA will provide you with the necessary forms to update your child’s disability status. It is crucial to complete these forms accurately and thoroughly, providing all requested information to streamline the process.

Documenting And Providing Evidence Of Your Child’s Continued Disability

Start by collecting your child’s most recent medical records from their healthcare providers. These records should clearly outline their diagnoses, treatments, and any limitations or restrictions they face due to their impairments.

Reach out to your child’s treating physicians and specialists to request updated letters that explain their current medical condition, functional limitations, and ongoing treatment plans. These letters should highlight the severity and impact of their impairments on their ability to work.

In addition to medical records and doctor’s letters, include any other relevant evidence that helps demonstrate your child’s continued disability. This may include school records, vocational assessments, or testimonies from family members, friends, or teachers who can attest to the limitations your child experiences.

Remember, accurately documenting and providing evidence of your child’s continued disability is crucial during the transition process. By following the necessary steps and communication channels with the SSA, you can help ensure a smooth adjustment of your child’s SSDI benefits when they turn 18.

Frequently Asked Questions For Will My Ssdi Increase When My Child Turns 18?

Will My Ssdi Increase When My Child Turns 18?

When your child turns 18, your SSDI benefits might change. It depends on different factors such as their disability and individual circumstances.

Can Ssdi Benefits Continue After My Child Turns 18?

Yes, SSDI benefits can continue after your child turns 18, but it will depend on their disability and if they meet the criteria set by the Social Security Administration.

Will My Child’s Disability Automatically Qualify Them For Ssdi As An Adult?

Having a disability as a child doesn’t automatically qualify them for SSDI benefits as an adult. They will need to meet the eligibility criteria set by the Social Security Administration.

What Happens When My Child’s Ssdi Benefits End At Age 18?

When your child’s SSDI benefits end at age 18, they might be able to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they meet the income and disability requirements.

How Can I Ensure My Child’s Ssdi Benefits Continue After They Turn 18?

To ensure your child’s SSDI benefits continue after they turn 18, you should review their case with the Social Security Administration, provide any necessary documentation, and ensure they meet the eligibility criteria.

Can My Child Work And Still Receive Ssdi Benefits After Turning 18?

Your child can work and still receive SSDI benefits after turning 18, as long as their earnings remain below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit set by the Social Security Administration.


When your child turns 18, your SSDI benefits may not necessarily increase. However, there are certain circumstances where your benefits could be subject to change. It is crucial to understand the Social Security Administration guidelines and seek professional advice to navigate this situation properly.

Ensuring you have accurate and up-to-date information about your SSDI benefits can help you plan for the future effectively.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …