Disabled Adult Child Benefits
Adults who have a disability that began before they turned 22 can receive what’s known as a Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefit. This benefit is also called Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB). The benefit is based on the taxes their parents paid into the Social Security (SSA) system. Unlike SSDI, you do not need to have worked to qualify for a DAC benefit.
To be eligible for a DAC benefit, one of your parents must:
Be receiving a SSDI benefit or a Social Security retirement benefit (RSDI), or
Have died and worked long enough under Social Security to qualify you for DAC benefits.
You can also receive DAC benefits if you were disabled before turning 18 and you were receiving benefits based on your parent’s Social Security earnings record (known as "dependent’s benefits").
Social Security uses the same disability determination criteria for DAC benefits that it uses for SSI and SSDI. If Social Security determines that you cannot work and earn above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level and that your disabling condition meets Social Security’s medical definition of disability, you can qualify for a DAC benefit.
For more information on DAC and other Social Security benefits that young people with disabilities can qualify for, read SSA’s publication on Benefits for Children with Disabilities. If you have questions, Talk to an Expert.
Note: When DAC benefits begin or when they go up, they might cause you to stop getting SSI. However, even if SSI stops, you might be able to keep your Medical Assistance (MA) health coverage, because MA has a special rule that helps people who stop getting SSI due to DAC. If you get DAC and stopped getting SSI because of your DAC benefits, Talk to an Expert and see whether MA's DAC disregard applies to you.