Are There Age Requirements for Getting Disability Benefits?

November 3, 2017
Dayes Law Firm

The age that a person has to be to qualify for disability benefits depends on the type of benefits he or she is receiving.

The Dayes Law Firm PC team of Social Security Disability lawyers are well-versed in all aspects of Social Security law. If you have questions about the age requirement for your program, contact us to discuss your claim during a free initial consultation.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides benefits for individuals who meet specific needs-based and medical-based criteria, including children. There is no minimum age for someone to qualify for these benefits. For a child to receive SSI, he or she must be under the age of 18, unmarried and not the head of household or he or she can be under the age of 22 and currently attending school.

The child must also meet the following eligibility criteria:

Financial Eligibility Criteria

SSI is a needs-based program, so the child must be financially needy. The child or his or her parents with whom the child lives cannot exceed the income and resource requirements. The child cannot have income that exceeds $1,170 a month in 2017. Additionally, the child cannot have countable resources that exceed $2,000.

Medical Eligibility Criteria

A child must have a medical impairment that significantly impairs his or her functioning so that it severely limits his or her activities. This impairment must be one that has lasted or is expected to last at least a year or be terminal in nature.

One way to establish that the child meets medical eligibility is to show that the child’s impairment is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book of Impairment Listings. If the condition does not meet or equal one of these listings, SSI benefits may still be available if the impairment results in serious interference with the child’s functioning in at least two of the following categories:

  • Ability to gain and utilize information
  • Ability to attend to and complete tasks
  • Ability to socially interact and relate to others
  • Ability to perform acts of self-care
  • Ability to mobilize and manipulate items
  • Health and physical well-being

Disabled Adult Children

If a child was disabled before the age of 22, he or she may be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits if his or her parent is currently receiving disability benefits or retirement benefits or is deceased. These benefits are based on the parent’s earning record. The child must be at least 18 years old and unmarried.

A disabled adult child will have to demonstrate that he or she meets the same eligibility standards as older adults, including that he or she has a medical impairment that:

  • Has lasted or is expected to last at least a year or be terminal in nature
  • Impairs his or her ability to work

The adult child must also not have income that exceeds the substantial gainful activity amount.

If a disabled adult child is currently receiving SSI, the disabled child should still check if he or she is eligible for these benefits because he or she may be eligible to receive a greater amount of benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance

The minimum age requirement for a person to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) based on his or her own earnings record is 18. Benefits for this program are based on your earnings record and having the necessary number of work credits.

Additionally, you must be able to show through medical evidence that you have a medical impairment that is expected to last at least one year or result in death that prevents you from being able to work. If you receive SSDI, you are eligible to receive these benefits until you reach full retirement age.

Full Retirement Age

The full retirement age for most Americans is age 66. However, the age is older for younger individuals. If individual elects to receive Social Security retirement benefits before reaching this age, he or she will receive a reduced rate. The sooner an individual elects to take retirement benefits before full retirement age, the greater the impact on the amount of benefits he or she will receive. The youngest age to receive such benefits currently is age 62. If you are currently receiving SSDI benefits, they will automatically convert to retirement benefits at full retirement age.

Disabled Widow and Widowers

To receive disabled widow or widower’s benefits, the claimant must be at least 50 years old. Additionally, they must be disabled before they reach the age of 60 to make a claim on their spouse’s earnings record. If they became disabled after this point, they are not eligible but can still elect to receive standard widow’s benefits.

Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you think you or your child may qualify for disability benefits, contact Dayes Law Firm PC for help developing your claim. Our highly skilled Social Security Disability lawyers will walk you through each step of the application and appeals process.

We provide free consolations and do not get paid unless you obtain benefits.

Call us at 1-800-503-2000 or complete the online contact form.