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Turning 18: Your Eligibility for Disability May Change

Good News First

If you were previously denied SSI disability benefits because your family assets/income exceeded the limits of this needs based disability program, you may now be eligible. Once you reach your 18th birthday, Social Security will only look at your income and assets in determining financial eligibility. So long as your non-exempt assets remain within the allowed limits (presently $2,000) and you meet the Adult Standards for Disability, you should be eligible for SSI disability benefits.

The Rest of the News

Receiving SSI disability as a child is no guarantee that you will receive benefits as an adult

When you turn 18, Social Security considers you to be an Adult, and the standard to prove disability changes. If you have been receiving disability benefits, your case will automatically be re-evaluated when you turn 18. Benefits will only continue if Social Security finds that you now meet the Adult Standards for Disability.

Children receive Social Security Disability benefits if their condition meets a “Listing” or if they qualify based on marked and/or extreme limitations in “Domains of Function”.

Adults receive disability benefits if their condition meets a “Listing” or if they cannot perform substantial gainful activity (a significant amount of work) due to medically determined impairments.

What are the chances that my disability benefits will be terminated when I turn 18?

That depends on the nature of your disability, whether you could perform a job in a regular work environment, and the strength of your medical records. Even if Social Security agrees that you have limitations, that does not mean Social Security will determine that you cannot “work”.

What do I do if my benefits are terminated?

If Social Security finds that you can work, you will receive a Cessation Letter stating that your benefits are being terminated. The letter should also give instructions on how to appeal if you disagree with Social Security’s decision. If you believe that your disability is a true obstacle to your being able to successfully hold a work position, submit your APPEAL!

What can you and your family do to improve your chances of having disability benefits continued?

Your family can help by having your condition re-evaluated by doctors and teachers in your high school years. Social Security will be looking at how your medical condition impacts your ability to work. You need documentation that truthfully describes your limitations. If you have tried to work or volunteer, get a statement from your supervisor or co-workers discussing any problems that were observed with your work/volunteer effort. It is helpful to have testimonials from teachers and others who know you well.

Call us for your Free Legal Consultation 201.932.1972

Be armed with documentation to support your disability application.

Cahn & Rohrberger LLC Representing clients throughout the Northeast

This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal advice. This document is considered legal advertising in some states.

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