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What is Adult Child?

Definition of Adult Child

The Social Security Administration sometimes uses the term "adult child" to define an adult who has a disabling mental or physical health condition which started before the child reached the age of 22. Social Security Disability Insurance paid to an adult who meets this criteria has what the Social Security Administration refers to as a "child's benefit" because it is paid on based on the parent's Social Security earnings record. Disabled adults can only receive a child benefit if one or both of their parents are receiving Social Security retirement or Social Security Disability benefits or the parents are deceased and qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance at the time of their death. Children do not have to work to qualify for this type of "child" benefits, and the disability benefits will continue as long as the individual is disabled.

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