For Oregon residents collecting government benefits, Supplemental Security Income — also known as SSI — can be one of the most difficult to get a handle on. It is not to be confused with Social Security disability insurance; while SSDI is received by people who had put in some time working but are now disabled, Supplemental Security Income recipients are often children or elderly people who may or may not have ever worked and thus contributed money to the system. Children who are disabled may be unlikely ever to work, and thus would never be eligible for SSDI benefits.
This does not mean, however, that children will automatically continue to receive benefits all through their lives without occasional check-ins on the part of the government.
One such time is when a child becomes a legal adult, at age 18. A father recently wrote in to ask an SSA representative how to figure out how to handle benefits for his son, who was about to turn 18. The son has been disabled since birth and lives in a group home; his parents were recently named to be his legal guardians when he becomes an adult.
The SSA will likely request a medical review to determine that the son’s disability will continue into his adult years. He might also be eligible to receive regular Social Security benefits when one or both of his parents retires, because he was disabled before the age of 22.
As you can see, there are many variations that can lead to complex situations for people applying for or already receiving benefits. An experienced Social Security benefits attorney can advise people in these situations.
Source: Grand Forks Herald, “Birthday mean SSI changes for guardians,” Howard Kossover, Aug. 3, 2013