Parent pointing direction to child

What are Disabled Adult Child (DAC) Benefits?

Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits are payable to disabled individuals over the age of 18 whose parents receive Social Security benefits.  This name is confusing (what is an adult child anyway?), but the reason that Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits are named as such is because these benefits are paid based on a parent’s earnings record.

Who can receive Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits?

As a general rule, disabled children under the age of 18 are only eligible to receive SSI benefits.  SSI benefits are means tested and the monthly benefits are low enough that living independently can be a challenge.  Upon reaching adulthood (age 18), these disabled individuals may be able to receive additional financial benefits by applying for Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits.  There are several qualifying criteria however.

What are the Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits criteria?

Child journeying on without parents, Disabled Adult Child Benefits ArticleTo receive Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits, an adult must be unmarried, age 18 or over, be experiencing a disability that began before age 22, and they must be currently considered disabled by the SSA.  Furthermore, the parent of this child must be receiving Social Security benefits such as disability or retirement.  The Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefit amount payable is based on the parent’s record of earnings.  Getting married typically terminates benefits unless the recipient marries another Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits recipient.

What does the SSA mean by being disabled?

To be considered disabled under SSA rules, an applicant must be suffering from a medically determinable impairment that is expected to last for 12 months (or already has lasted for 12 months), or is expected to result in death.  This impairment must further cause the applicant to be unable to engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

How do I apply for Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits?

It is not currently possible to apply for Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits online.  If you or a loved one wish to apply, please contact Social Security or if you are in Georgia and need assistance, contact Attorney Thomas O’Brien of O’Brien & Feiler.  Our legal team would be pleased to assist.  For information about Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits on the official SSA website, click here.

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