Social Security Q&A: Disability

McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)

Published: Monday, Jan. 6 2014 10:09 a.m. MST

This Jan. 11, 2013 file photo shows the Social Security Administration's main campus in Woodlawn, Md.

Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

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Q: I have a 38-year-old son who has been disabled by cerebral palsy since birth. I plan to apply for retirement benefits. Will he be eligible for benefits as my disabled child?

A: Yes. In general, an adult disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child’s benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because we pay it on the parent’s Social Security earnings record.

The “adult child” — including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild — must be unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a disability that started before age 22.

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Q: I just received my first disability payment. How long will I continue to get them?

A: In most cases, you will continue to receive benefits as long as you are disabled. However, there are certain circumstances that may change your continuing eligibility for disability benefits. For example,

Your health may improve to the point where you are no longer disabled; or

Like many people, you would like to go back to work rather than depend on your disability benefits and you are successful in your attempt.

Also, the law requires that we review your case from time to time to verify you are still disabled. We tell you if it is time to review your case, and we also keep you informed about your benefit status. You also should be aware that you are responsible for letting us know if your health improves or you go back to work.

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(This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov. )

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© 2014, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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