If a child is disabled before the age of 22 are they eligible to collect SSI or an adult disabled child benefit?

Published: March 7, 2022

Full question: Client has an autistic child who is now 22 years old. He has never collected Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI). Client now wonders if his son would qualify for Social Security Disability. His son is unable to work. I have researched Disability Benefits and Benefits for children with disabilities on ssa.gov. I believe he does not qualify on his own, since the child has never worked, and the only way he could qualify is on his parents earnings but that requires one of his parents to be currently collecting social security or social security disability. Any input would be appreciated, I just want to make sure I was not missing something. Thanks!


SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is given to those who have very little income with very few ways to receive income, such as not being able to work.

However, if the child relies on parents for income support the Social Security Administration may not recognize that as a need, but the disabled child should apply just in case regardless. The child will also be eligible for an adult disabled child benefit being that they have been disabled since before the age of 22. However, at least one of the parent’s would need to be collecting their own Social Security first.

Take care,

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