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When is a child entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits based on disability?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

518. When is a child entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits based on disability?

518.1 When may a child receive Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB)?

An adult son or daughter, age 18 or over, is entitled to receive CDB if he or she:

  1. Meets the definition of disability in §507.1;

  2. Became disabled before age 22;

  3. Meets the other requirements for child's insurance benefits (see §323); and

  4. Is not imprisoned within the U.S. for conviction of a felony (see §1850).

(See §340 for events that end these benefits.)

Note: There is no upper age limit for childhood disability benefits. Disabled adult sons and daughters can qualify on the record of a stepparent or grandparent in some cases.

518.2 When may a disabled adult child become re-entitled to benefits?

A disabled adult (age 18 or older) child may be re-entitled to CDB if he or she becomes disabled again. The recurrence of the disability must occur within seven years (84 months) of the month in which benefits were terminated because the earlier disability ended. These benefits are payable without a waiting period.

Effective 10/01/2004, P.L. 108-203 allows re-entitlement to childhood disability benefits after the 7-year period if the beneficiary's previous entitlement of disability terminated because of the performance of SGA.

Last Revised: Jan. 22, 2008

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