Only the Social Security Administration has the final say on whether your adult child qualifies for benefits. Even when your child meets all the basic criteria, the SSA may deny your application. Even so, some good criteria exist that may help you determine your chances of obtaining benefits for your adult child.
According to the SSA, it may pay benefits for your adult child under your application until 21 years old. Adult children often become eligible for these payments if at least one parent receives disability payments or received retirement benefits.
What children become eligible?
Some parents wrongly believe that unless they are the birth parents of the child, they cannot receive benefits. However, the SSA states that, depending on the specifics of each case, it considers the following as eligible children for benefits purposes:
- Biological child
- Adopted child
- Step grandchild
What can disqualify a child?
Marriage may disqualify your children from obtaining benefits under your application. Even so, who your child marries may make a difference. For example, if your child marries another adult disabled child, the SSA may choose to continue benefits. These and some other types of marriages fall into its protected class.
The SSA may also put a cap on how much the adult child can earn to continue to receive benefits. In 2020, the SSA set a cap at $1,260 per month in 2020. Fortunately, children receiving benefits tied to parents may not need to work to earn those benefits. The benefits received generally depend on your earnings and prior tax payments.
Your adult children may choose to secure SS benefits on their own. If they chose this route, approval may prove more difficult.