Benefits from parents work history for those born with a disability prior to age 22

Can you imagine a circumstance where your child born with a disability could get Medicare and additional income for life? 

Did you know that an individual born with a disability that affects their ability to maintain gainful employment and meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) strict definition of disabled can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits with Medicare (after two years) based on their parent’s work history?[1]   These benefits apply to a biological parent or a parent who adopts an individual with a disability. Any adult who has become disabled before twenty-two years of age is eligible if either parent is receiving retirement or disability benefits. 

Since 1978, if either parent has earned forty work credits to qualify for retirement, these credits equal four per year. Anyone born in 1929 or later needs ten years of work history to be eligible.[2] As of 2023, you earn one credit for every $1,640 earned income. 

In addition, Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits are provided for stepchildren, grandchildren, or step-grandchildren if unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a qualifying disability. To be eligible for DAC, the disabled individual cannot earn more than $1,470 (or $2,460 if blind) per month.

Once either parent is collecting retirement or disability income, the adult disabled child is entitled to 50% of the monthly Social Security Income without any reduction in the benefit to the parent. If the parent is deceased, the adult disabled child will be entitled to 75% of the decedent’s Social Security Retirement income. Once both parents have passed, the benefit will increase to whoever had the higher income benefit.