Do you have a son or daughter who is unable to work due to disabilities that began before age 22? Your young adult may have begun receiving SSI & Medicaid benefits when they turned 18. However, when you retire and are eligible to receive Social Security benefits, or if there comes a time that you can no longer work due to your own disabilities and you start receiving Social Security Disability benefits, your child may be eligible to apply for DAC benefits on your earnings record, as a Disabled Adult Child. 42 USC 402(d); There will be two critical categories of evidence that would be needed to prove this claim: (1) proof that the child is presently disabled, and (2) proof that the child was disabled before age 22. http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify10.htm#age22
Reconstructing a set of medical records decades after the fact may be impossible. Locating old special education records or IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans) may be difficult. This is why you should save those records in case they are needed later.
If your young adult child is struggling with emotional or psychiatric troubles which significantly impede their ability to sustain employment, it is foreseeable that down the road they will need to turn to the safety net of Social Security for income support. As the parent or guardian, you may be in possession of the IEP’s — save them. Talk with your child about the importance of obtaining and saving a copy of all relevant medical and hospital records starting at age 18. The child will need to sign “HIPPA releases” (records releases) so that you can obtain this confidential information. Help your child by scanning them onto a hard drive as well.
If the day ever comes that your child needs to apply for DAC benefits, it will be much easier to prove their claim if these steps are taken now.
For more information on special Social Security disability programs read http://www.finkrosner.com/articles/social-security-rules.html
Contact us for representation on DAC appeals and other SSI or Social Security Disability appeals — 732-382-6070.