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Disabled Adult Child Benefits

Discussion in 'Social Security, Disability & Health' started by Rob12, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. Rob12

    Rob12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I've been receiving SSI benefits for a mental disability since I was 28 yrs old in 2009. The condition started when I was 19, but I wasn't diagnosed until age 26 because I was in denial and refused to go for treatment, until my parents eventually got a court order to have me hospitalized (which was when I was diagnosed).

    During therapy (in the hospital and outpatient treatment), I documented with various doctors that my condition started at age 19 and also stated this on my SSI application, but I don't have any actual medical record of it before age 26.

    So my dad is now retired and collecting social security retirement, and I'm wondering if I qualify as a Disabled Adult Child on his benefits or not?

    Because my disability did begin before 22, which prevented me from finishing school and working enough to qualify for SSDI. But I technically don't have any proof other than me telling my doctors how/when my condition started, years after the fact.

    So I guess I'm wondering if those medical records could be enough proof to qualify?

    I haven't worked since my condition started at 19, but I did continue to go to college on and off from ages 19-26, if that matters.

    Thanks
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    The problem you have is that you must prove that your disability started before age 22. If you have no diagnosis of your condition prior to age 22 or other medical records that clearly establish that you had the condition before age 22 you're very unlikely to succeed in getting benefits based on your father's earnings record. Simply telling doctors some years after you reached age 22 that it started before then isn't very compelling since your statements aren't medical proof and can be seen as self-serving. You might want to see an attorney who handles SSA disability benefit claims to review all your medical records and see if you might have something to work with.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  3. Rob12

    Rob12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks. I kind of figured that might be the case. I don't know if makes a difference, but to clarify what I said before, there was an actual incident that occurred at 19 that caused the onset of my condition, and this incident and timeline of it is well-documented with my doctors (as my treatment was centered around it), but I have no other way of proving when the incident happened.

    So I guess I'm thinking if that's what is documented as causing my disability in my records, and those records are what SSA used to approve my SSI, does that mean they've already accepted that my condition began at 19? Or did they approved me based solely on my condition from ages 26-28 when I started treatment?

    One other form of proof I might have is when my dad filed a court order to have me hospitalized, he documented all my symptoms in the filings and also signed a sworn statement stating when it began. Again I realize he's not a doctor, but would witnesses like that count as evidence? I lived with my parents from age 20-28 after moving home from college because of my illness, so they can attest to my condition/symptoms at that time.

    I'm just wondering if it's worth getting a lawyer and going through the whole process or not. Do you know if I would have to apply all over again for SSDI, or is it just a matter of calling and notifying them and then they review the records already on file and convert you from SSI to SSDI if approved?
     
  4. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    It's unlikely they made a determination that the disability started at age 19. Or even that the condition itself started at age 19. And the two are NOT necessarily the same. You can have a condition that starts at a particular point in time but when it starts it's not severe enough to amount to a disability, at least not the kind of total disability that qualifies you for SSA disability benefits. What matters for SSA benefits is when you were impacted severely enough by it that you could not perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA), i.e. disabled enough that you couldn't work at any kind of job/self employment activity.

    Your SSI disability benefits were determined by whether you were disabled at the time of the application. SSA didn't need to determine if you were disabled before age 22 to make that determination, so likely there is no finding in the decision that awarded you SSI benefits as to exactly when you were first disabled enough to meet the SSA definition of disablity.


    Contact one or two attorneys who handle SSA disability and ask if you have a good shot to get the benefits and how much more they'd be than what you are getting now. Maybe it wouldn't make a difference. Most attorneys will give you a free initial consultation on that, so you don't have anything to lose by asking a lawyer in your state other than your time.
     
  5. Rob12

    Rob12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks. I appreciate the help.

    Do you know if I'd have to re-apply in order to get SSDI?

    I went through a full redetermination of my case a few years ago and it was very stressful. I'm not sure if it's worth going through again if I'd have to re-apply.
     

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