I enjoy reading attorney Paul Nidich’s blog Nidich on Anything. Paul’s knowledge nicely dovetails with my own. When there is an area I am uncertain about, I check to see what Paul has written.
A while ago, Paul wrote a nice article about Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits.
I did a search for “Disabled Adult Child” last night. On one of the web sites, the “expert” writing about the DAC benefit had the “disabled before age ___” incorrect. In speaking about special needs trusts and attending other’s presentations on special needs trusts, I find that few lawyers are aware of the DAC benefit, and, of course, fewer people in the disability community are aware of the benefit.
Disabled Adult Child is a Social Security program for adults who became disabled before the age of 22. The main benefit of this benefit program is that is allows the adult child to receive benefits based on the parent’s earnings record, which may mean more benefits than the child would otherwise be entitled to.
DAC benefits may also be a better option than Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Under SSI, a spouse’s income, an inheritance, or a law suit settlement may make the individual ineligible for benefits and force Social Security to suspend or terminate benefits.
However, under DAC, these sources of (non-employment) income are not considered.
How do you qualify for DAC?
Here is what Social Security says:
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 it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
We make the disability decision using the disability rules for adults.
The “adult child”-including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild-must be
2) age 18 or older, and
3) have a disability that started before age 22.
Click here for more information Social Security about DAC benefits. Read the rest of Paul’s article here. Update: unfortunately Paul has taken down his site, so I have removed the links.