When To Take Social Security if You Are the Parent of an Adult Child With Disabilities
Updated: Apr 3
For Social Security purposes, Full Retirement Age is the age you can start collecting Social Security Benefits without any offsets for other income you might earn. You can elect to take your benefit between the age of 62 and 70.
The best age for Social Security benefits depends on personal and financial matters, like your current cash needs, retirement plans, health and family history. The age you choose to start taking Social Security will affect the monthly amount you receive for the rest of your life. If you would like to take the benefit before your full retirement age, your benefit may be reduced by as much as 30%. If you wait to take the benefit when you reach the age of 70, your monthly check may be increased by 132% of the benefit you would receive at your full retirement age.
However, when you have an adult child with disabilities, you should consider the additional benefit available to that child when making your decision.
Social Security’s rules allow an adult child with disabilities to receive disability benefits through the program based solely upon your work record. The adult child’s disability benefits include not only a monthly payment of up to one-half of your full retirement benefit, but also qualifies the adult child for Medicare health insurance after two years.
In order for your child to qualify for disability benefits, he or she must be:
age 18 or older;
have a documented disability that began prior to age 22; and
must not have any substantial earnings from employment
I elected to take my Social Security benefit at my Full Retirement Age and not wait until age 70 because my adult child was eligible to receive Disabled Child benefits which are essentially twice the benefit she was receiving under SSI (Supplemental Security Income). She also now qualifies for Medicare, which along with her Medicaid benefit, essentially pays for all of her medical and prescription drug costs.
It is important that, as a parent of an adult child with disabilities, you consult with a financial advisor to consider all of these factors when making your Social Security election to receive the benefit that is most advantageous to both you and your child.