My son was disabled before age 22 and receives SSI. His father is now receiving SSDI for permanent disability - can my son receive financial gains from his record?

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and in my world that means we’ve been thriving - wow! I have a question regarding my son that was disabled before the age of 22 and receives SSI. His father just filed for permanent disability, SSDI. I quickly called the social security office and explained our situation. They set up another phone interview to review the case because we obviously checked all the boxes. I just hate these phone calls because I know I’m going to have to do some homework to figure out the calculations to maximize any financial gains. I don’t want to say anything wrong on this recorded call - I know less is more until I figure things out. We get audited all the time with SSI and I would hate to have any financial gains taken away, which has almost happened. I just want to know if anyone has gone through this process and if you can provide any support or have any resources so I could somewhat know what to expect. His father worked hard and made a ton of money throughout his life, so I hope his record can help my son. Just looking for some feedback and I hope everyone is as good as can be! Xo


Hi, my only experience with this topic is a couple of years after my son went on SSI. He was 21 at the time. I got notification that his income would be in part SSI and the remainder would be drawn on my work history account. His father was never in the picture. I was surprised but they did it automatically. I think overall he got a few more dollars than the standard SSI amount but even if you are very “prepared” in some way, and I wouldn’t even know how to prepare, I would say just be honest during the call, you are still (unfortunately) at the mercy of the competency of the SS Admin. I have been dealing with them for over a decade for my son and for myself and the number of errors they make is just sometimes really upsetting, I just deal with them as they come. Ultimately, things will lean in their favor. I know there are good employees and less than good ones, but it is often the luck of the draw if the process is completed correctly on their end. I would say that unless you already have an attorney to step in for you, I would just relax and answer as best you can and let the process begin. Best of luck.


Each case is different in a little way; our son was diagnosed when he was 19 and he was covered by my husband’s (his father) insurance until he was 25 under the COBRA and he was going to be able to receive a portion of his father’s earnings when he retired; the day came but he didn’t get a cent from his father’s benefits because the councilor said that he had worked couple of times after 19th; does the decision based on SSA laws or according to the criteria of the councilor, we don’t know; he could have gotten a portion of my own pension but I had to pay also and my pension would have been less with those payments. I’ll be glad to hear from you the outcome of that interview; yes, the initial over the phone interview was ok but when we actually went for the SSA hearing that’s when the ultimate decision was made; there was not appealing after that.

Good luck on that.

Hi @rosyd,
The call went well and the worker was actually so helpful! She did asked me if he worked ever and I said yes, back in 2019 at a residential program for a couple of weeks. She didn’t seem too alarmed by that and continued to interview me giving me tips to build a strong case - quite helpful. I have a very detailed time line w/ all treatment and hospital stays and she asked me to email her that to help build a strong case. I’ll have my son fill out the ROI so that they can get records from the treatment facilities/hospitals. He sees his case manager weekly for therapy and his psychiatrist monthly which helps the case even more. She told me if approved, he would receive about $600 - so I’ll be fighting hard to secure approval. I’m very good with appeals as I’ve one quite a few, but I’ve never been to a hearing - scary! I hope everything rolls smoothly and I don’t anticipate a denial, but I’m ready to fight if needed and will consider getting a lawyer if needed. My son struggles daily and could never work consistently and I have a mountain of records to prove this! Thank you so much for your insight! Xo

Thank you Catherine! I was very honest during my call and the social security worker was actually helping me. She stated that my goal is to build a strong case and prove that my son cannot work. She asked me about hospitalizations/treatment programs and I said, yes there were some, but he has been stable for a bit. She said your goal is to show that he is not stable and cannot work which was quite helpful and unlike other social security workers - the luck of the draw was kind to me! I told her that I have a complete timeline of all tx/hospitalizations with locations and phone numbers and she said that’s great, please email that to me. When I actually looked at the timeline there were so many more than I could remember, so I’m grateful that she helped me. My son will fill out a ROI and they will secure records from these facilities. I have found tons of errors in the past with the administration as well and have won quite a bit of appeals - all of them actually, but I have never been to a hearing and I hope it doesn’t advance that way because that is a bit scary. She stated if he wins the case, he will gain $600, so my fight will be big! I would be shocked if they denied him, but we know how they roll and I will secure a lawyer if necessary to win the fight. He will also be eligible to get MediCare in 2 years, which will be so helpful! It was overall a good experience, but I’ll wait for the final decision which could take up to 3 months. Fingers crossed!!! Xo

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Is it better to have Medicare insurance OR private insurance? My son will be eligible for Medicare in January 2023. I need to decide within 2 weeks to add him back to father’s insurance or not.

Hi skyler.hayden, I’m glad the person that did the interview about your son’s case was helpful and mindful and giving you tips towards a favorable outcome. I can see a difference in our case: my son at that time worked off and on altogether probably about couple of years, enough to have SSDI and even though he was diagnosed at 19 and was within the frame to qualify for a portion of his dad’s retirement he was denied; it might have been that he worked that length of time. I don’t know if their decision was based on the assumption that he could work and those guidelines about being disabled before 22 didn’t count for him.
I applaud your determination since those SSA earnings are really for benefiaries like your son, they’re stipulated in the workers contract.
You’re doing great and I hope the best for you and your son. :heart:

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I know for my son, he got SSI starting at 18, it has been 740 a month and increased up to $841 in Idaho this year. He joined the ticket to work program and worked some, like 20 hrs a week and they deducted from the SSI. You can apply for SSDI as well, when a parent retires, they can get 1/2 of what the parents retirement SSA is. So father gets $3000, and he will get $1500. It depends on how much the parent made. If SSI is more you could keep SSI. It is need based income. If he only gets $600 from SSDI, he should be able to get additional from SSI, as the national amount should be more than $600. $600 isnt enough to survive on. Food, rent, gas. Also with SSI, they give you $200 ish more when you say they have to pay you or someone rent. Best to say he pays $500 to $600 or $700 rent. It depends on what the going rate is in your area, and to say more is ok, then they will give you appx. $200 to $250 more to cover.

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For my son, it is best that he receives ssdi that is low enough that he qualifies for ssi. Qualifying for ssi has made him eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid pays for his Medicare and pays for any balances due after Medicare pays its share. My son is not physically healthy and would have high medical bills if not for Medicaid.

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For our situation in Orange County CA. my son has received better services with Medical (we used to live in Los Angeles CA and I will say the services are like night and day between the 2 counties. He only has MediCal at the moment and will be eligible for MediCare in 2 years). When he was in and out of treatment programs, private insurance was better because the treatment programs that we found with MediCal were a little scary. It really depends where you live - I would dig in and start cold calling local county MediCare psych facilities to get a feel. I know that my son can have both MediCal and private insurance - not sure about your state. I do know that because my son was disabled before 22, he is eligible to be on a parents private insurance for life and I would really call your private insurance and ask. So, I feel comfortable knowing we can always add private insurance any time (I called to double check this with my work and was told, yes). Best to you, Xo

Yes, @C11 The social security worker told me that he will be considered a DAC - disabled adult child and receive SSDI because it was more than his SSI and will total approximately $1600 a month (his dad made tons of money, so this is the maximum). I love that he can have more than $2000 a month in his account - that will be nice not worrying about that. I’ll have to figure out the accounting portion. Still isn’t enough to survive, but so happy to receive the additional money! I never received $200 more even though he pays rent to me - I’ll have to look into that one! Best to you and thank you, Xo

If needed, and disabled before 22, he can be on a parents private insurance for LIFE - just a fyi for you. That is a fact in CA for sure and worth checking into! Xo

It probably was based on the fact that he was showing being stable and able to work, but was that an assisted work program? Is he still showing stability working? If not, I would call them and see if you can reapply - ugh, that would make me mad! Best to you and thank you again, Xo

My son was not disabled until he was 31.

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I think they reached their decision to consider him ‘stable’ for the length of time he worked, he didn’t even worked consistently in one place but he was trying and when he did he was already receiving some kind of assistance so when he was working he had to return the money to SSA, the point is he was considered disabled before 22, the first interview was over the phone since my husband initiated the paperwork because he was retiring and the denial came at the hearing, nothing was said at the phone interviews about his work history being a block to receive a benefit on his dad’s retirement and that was quite awhile ago; after that he received a monthly SSDI because of that time he worked. That’s been a loong while, I don’t remember how many years it’s been, maybe 25 years that he hasn’t worked. He can go by with his monthly SSDI, when he’s medicated he’s frugal, unmedicated he is not the same :slight_smile:

I really wish you the best. You have a strong case and I don’t see any reason for your son to be denied. It seems to me that your husband’s earnings according to his contract at work and the stipulations regarding the age of your son when he was disabled have to be honored.

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Oh good! I’m glad. I know… They really need to raise the SSI amounts and what they consider is poverty level for free medical. Its very low, like 1950’s amount to survive.

Especially with this new inflation. So sad.

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Oh, I see! I should’ve remember that! @hope

Good morning! My son had been on SSI but what I didn’t know at the time was if one parent started drawing Social Security, my son had to then be switched to Social Security and Medicare. His Dad had started drawing it but I didn’t know. Then they did a recalculation of any monies due him and he received a substantial lump sum payment based on the difference in what he drew between SSI and SS. He is covered on Medicare which comes out of his monthly check and is covered for life under my private family health insurance and dental plans as an adult disabled child (he is 42).

Oh wow! That’s great! His dad did not mention to anyone that he was retiring and there is an actual box that he could’ve checked to help my son, but he chose not to (because he thinks the money will be taken from him). My son will also have a lump sum paid due to the recalculations. The worker gave me this information, but he still needs to be approved and I’m a bit worried because he does smoke weed and that is all over his records. I hope it’s not a cause for denial. Anyway, I know he meets all other requirements and fingers crossed for the decision! Thank you @Pookey52 Xo

My ex also did not notify Social Security and I thought he was going to have a coronary when I told him that our son would be drawing against his benefits. He also thought they would take it out of his monies but I told him not to worry - he would still receive his benefits in full. Good luck!