Benefits Based on Your Parents’ Wages, if You Are a Disabled Adult

If you are a disabled adult (18 or older), it is possible to draw benefits off of your parent’s work record if you became disabled prior to the age of 22 if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. This is only the case if the “adult child” (so called because the person is an adult but drawing off a parent’s record)

There are 5 (!) reasons the disabled adult child might not get benefits, even though the parent does:

  • Some adopted adult children might not get benefits. See the section on adoption
  • If the parent’s check is very small, the child might not get a check
  • If the only check the parent gets is an SSI check, the child will not get benefits
  • The child’s disability began after the child turned 21 he will not get benefits
  • The child is married at the time he applies, or becomes married while getting disabled adult child’s benefits. Note that this leaves one weird rule: if the child gets married, gets divorced, and never gets around to filing until after the divorce he can get benefits. But if he files before that divorce, the marriage forever bars benefits!!