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Disability Benefits for Children in Pennsylvania

If you are physically or mentally disabled, one of your primary reasons for claiming Social Security Disability benefits may be to continue to support your children and your family while you cannot work.  Social Security is able to provide benefits not only for the disabled applicant but also for their children.  In many cases, disability may also provide benefits for a disabled child if you are not using your disability benefits.  The Pennsylvania Social Security Disability lawyers at Young, Marr, and Associates explain:

Children and Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania

If you are claiming disability in your own right, you typically do so under one of two systems.  With Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you use your work credits to support your claims.  This means that your years of work and paying FICA taxes has supported the Social Security Administration (SSA), which entitles you to claim disability benefits if you become injured.  The alternate system is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is need-based.  This is available even if you do not have a sufficient work history that could support SSDI, but your income is so low that you need assistance to deal with your disability.

If you are receiving disability benefits, these benefits can help your whole family.  There is no limitation on how you use your disability benefits, meaning there are no requirements that they be used for housing, food, or medical procedures.  That means that the general benefits can help provide for your entire family.

In addition, your spouse and children may qualify for benefits based on your record.  If you apply through SSDI, the work-based system, then your spouse and children could be eligible to receive 50% to 80% of your benefits.  That means that, on top of the benefits you receive, you could receive half that amount again for your spouse or child.

If your children are under 16, your spouse automatically qualifies to receive benefits on your record to help support your children.  However, your spouse may be required to draw on their own benefits first if they have a sufficient work history to support SSDI.  If they do not, then they can qualify through your work history.

Children can also receive benefits if they are under 18 and are not married.  Usually these benefits end when the child turns 18 or gets married.  However, these benefits can continue after they turn 18 if they are still in high school.  If they turn 19 while they are still in school, they can continue to receive benefits for 2 months before the SSA will end the benefits.  Each qualifying child can receive their own payments – but there is a total cap on family benefits of 150-180% of your benefits.

How Child Disability Benefits Work

Whether you are personally disabled or not, your disabled children may also qualify for disability benefits on your record.  As mentioned, children under 18 may get benefits through their disabled parent’s record.  Alternatively, children can also receive benefits for their own disabilities, even without their own work history to support the payments.

Under this process, your disabled child is allowed to use your work history to qualify for their own benefits, rather than being required to claim the need-based SSI.  If they are under 18, they automatically qualify for benefits under your record.  In addition, disabled children with long-term disabilities can also receive ongoing benefits on their parent’s record to support them after they turn 18.

If your child was under 22 when they became disabled, they can continue to receive disability benefits on your record.  These benefits can continue even after they turn 18 or graduate high school.  In many cases, your child may need to continue relying upon these benefits into their adult life, or for the rest of their life.  To qualify for these benefits, the child must continue to fit the definition of disability, as required by the SSA for adult disability claims.  This includes having a qualifying disability or similar condition and meeting the definition of “severe.”

If your child gets married, they may be cut off from your benefits.  Whether they are personally disabled or not, no married child can receive their parent’s disability benefits.  It is expected that married people will either have their own work history to support SSDI payments, your child can file for SSI on their own, or their spouse’s work history will support them instead of their parents’.  Talk to an attorney today about receiving disability for your child.

A Pennsylvania Attorney for Disability Benefits for Children Can Help

If you are disabled and want your children to receive benefits through your record, talk to an attorney today.  Whether your child is disabled or not, they may be eligible to receive additional benefits through your disability claims.  For a free consultation on your case, call Young, Marr, and Associates’ Pennsylvania disability lawyers at (215) 701-6519 to reach our Pennsylvania offices.


Before coming to Young, Marr & Associates, our SSD attorneys worked for the SSA which gives us an advantage over attorneys who have never dealt directly with the internal SSA system. We know the process is difficult – your job is to get better, and our job is to make sure you get the disability you deserve.

Chances are you are preoccupied dealing with a painful illness. You are concerned about your financial future, about how you will get by without a steady source of income.

Read what our clients have to say about us.


“I have already recommended Paul Young numerous times. He was honest, explained endlessly in terms that were understandable. Paul Young guided me through the process from beginning consultation to the end of case. Highly satisfied and grateful for his expertise.”


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