What to Know When Your Disabled Child Turns 18 Years Old

What to Know When Your Disabled Child Turns 18 Years Old

Category: Disability Law , Social Security

Recently, the Social Security Administration released a document which they feel that all parents of disabled children or teenagers should know. They have broken it down into five major groups. In this post we would like to go over this information.

1. Decisions Regarding Your Disabled Child Once They Turn 18

When your child turns 18 they legally become an adult. With that change, certain decisions are no longer yours to make. However, you can still be very involved in the process. There are two roles you can take to allow this to take place:

Representative Payee – The SSA will decide who best should serve in this role for child’s protection.

Guardianship – This is a legal process where you legally take on responsibility for major decisions which need to be made.

2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Will Change

SSI exists to provide supplemental income for an adult who is unable to earn a livable wage due to disability or blindness. When your child turns 18, the SSA will review your child’s situation to determine eligibility and the amount they receive once approved.

3. Educational Needs

After attending public high school, your child may qualify for continuing education assistance.

These options include:

Diploma: furthering education in college or being certified for a trade.

Certificate: They may be able to attend transitional education at the High School they attended after they complete their senior year. This program can last until they turn 22 years old.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services: These are available to help assist with finding employment options.

4. Help with Living Arrangements

Your adult offspring may qualify for different living arrangements allowing them to get their own place. This also addresses special caregiving services which you may have provided up until this point. You may be able to hire a professional service or have one provided by the state and receive financial assistance.

5. Financial Protections

You need to update your will before your child turns 18. Otherwise inheritance may cause a termination in your child’s disability benefits. Children receiving benefits under their parent’s record may continue to receive them until they turn 19 so long as they are a full-time elementary or secondary school student. There are exceptions and exemptions to these rules so it may make sense to contact an attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability in your state.


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