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What You Need to Know About Transitioning From Child SSI to Adult SSI

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Social Security is a blessing for families who have children with disabilities. The extra insurance can help guardians cover medical bills, educational needs, and other expenses that are related to a child’s disability. Child Social Security, however, has an end date. Before a child turns 18, it must be evaluated as to whether they can continue to receive Social Security benefits.

If you or a loved one are receiving child SSI and getting closer to the age of 18, this can be stressful and disorientating. You may be anxious that you may no longer receive the payments that have become a lifeline to help care for the disability. However, there is no need to panic, as about 1 in 3 children lose their SSI payments after turning 18. By keeping informed on the transition process and the eligibility requirements for SSI, you can help increase your chances of passing the redetermination process.

What You Need to Know about Transitioning from Child SSI to Adult SSI

Changing From Child SSI to Adult SSI: The Redetermination Process

When a child reaches the age of 18, their eligibility for regular Social Security payments will need to be properly evaluated. The Social Security Administration (SSA), or the federal agency responsible for issuing government disability payments, will need to take many factors into account. The eligibility requirements for regular Social Security payments are different from that of child Social Security. Therefore, to evaluate a child’s eligibility for these requirements, the SSA will make contact with the child in the year before they turn 18.

The information that the SSA will request details on is related to medical circumstances, income, and legal status in the country. The following includes information that the SSA will request and take into account for the redetermination process: 

  • Medical-related information. The SSA will request that you list the medications and prescriptions associated with the child on SSI. In addition to this, hospital trips, instances of surgery, and medical visits will need to be logged and submitted. Also, if the child has received therapy or mental health support therapy, the SSA would like to be informed.
  • Education-related information. The SSA will ask about what school the child is attending as well as if they are going to any special classes or tutoring sessions. You will also need to provide a list of the teachers and counselors who are aware of the disability or medical condition.
  • Work-related information. The child’s work activity, including what type of job they have, where they are working, how many hours a week they are working, and what activity is involved, will need to be reported to the SSA.

Employees from the SSA, as well as hired doctors, will take part in the determination process to decide whether a minor is eligible for adult Social Security payments. The SSA will send written notice of the decision to continue or discontinue payments after they reach a conclusion.

Appealing an SSA Age-18 Redetermination Decision

If the SSA sends you a letter confirming that your application to transition from child SSI to adult SSI payments was rejected and that you or your child will no longer be able to receive payments after turning 18, then you can always appeal this decision.

You have 60 days of receiving the letter or notification from the SSA to appeal the decision and request them to look at your application again. Also, if you respond within 10 days of receiving the letter, then you can continue to get SSI payments during the appeals process.


Q: What Is the Age at Which SSD Changes to Regular SS?

A: It’s important to keep in mind that, although Social Security disability benefits turn into regular Social Security benefits upon reaching retirement, this process does not automatically occur. Retirement age can be anywhere from 65 to 67 in the United States, and this depends on what year the beneficiary was born.

Q: Can Child SSI Payments Be Taxed?

A: Child supplemental security income payments are not considered to be taxable income. This is also applicable to adults who are receiving SSI payments. Because Social Security is a federal initiative that is based on the needs of the beneficiaries who are blind, disabled, or elderly, the payments cannot be taxed.

Q: Do I Make Too Much Money for My Child to Get SSI?

A: When determining whether your child is eligible to get Social Security benefits, they will take into account:

  • How much money each parent makes
  • The available resources from each parent
  • The income and resources that the child has
  • The details associated with their disability

To receive SSI, the countable income will have to fall within a certain range, which is often subject to change. The current limit can be provided more specifically by calling the SSA.

Q: What Am I Supposed to Use My Child’s SSI Benefits For?

A: SSI benefit payments are for children under 18 and should go toward purchasing goods and services that will help meet their most basic and immediate needs, such as:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Healthcare

SSI benefit money should not be spent on anything superfluous or on a person other than the child who the SSI payments are addressed to.

Don’t Wait: Secure the Future of You and Your Child

If you are worrying about potentially losing critical government support for your child’s medical condition or disability after they turn 18 or even have questions about the logistics of transitioning, an experienced Social Security lawyer can assist you. At Gade & Parekh, LLP, our Social Security lawyers have experience with similar cases to yours, in which concerned parents were wondering what their next steps would be to continue receiving government support for their children.

At our law firm, our Social Security legal team is deeply up to date on federal policy and guidelines that determine Social Security payments. We know how to streamline certain SSA processes to ensure that the application or appeal process runs as smoothly as possible. Get in touch with the legal team at Gade & Parekh, LLP, today to discuss your concerns and come up with a plan for your child’s future.

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