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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

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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There are 7 Comments

would if my daughter was turned down for her benefits and now she cant get to her doctors appointment can they speed up her appeal

I have two disabled children, who get SSD payments and insurance. I have not worked so as to be avalilable to the school in case the school needed to contact me. My kids are 10 and 11 now and I would like to go to work. How will their money be affected and at what percentage, if I go to work?

i found out that i was disable as a child with a fracture spine' it haubted ne thru my life and have not discover what the hell was wrong with me; i applied for childhood disabilty at the age 50 because of the neglect of my mental ill mother and my abusive father so why in the world havine social security did not give me my money for this horrffic injury that i have not ask for.

if a person becomes disabled and starts receiving Social Security benefits. is the person minor child receive some kind of benefits due thir parent being disabled?

Yes, this may be possible.

When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must be unmarried and be:

  • under age 18; or
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
  • 18 or older and have a disability that started before age 22

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