Life Care Planning
Special Needs
"After reading your book I forgot some things in my Will for my son that I never even thought of and I really thought I had things covered."

– Sue, Parent
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Life Care Planning for Special Needs Families
Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an insurance program that pays benefits to adults who have a disability that began before the age of 22. It is considered a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. These taxes are better known
as FICA on your paycheck stub.

There are three main ways for a disabled child to be eligible for SSDI:

• His or her parents are receiving Social Security retirement benefits
• His or her parents are receiving disability benefits
• A parent has passed away with enough Social Security credits to qualify a child. The parent must have worked for at least five of the past 10 years beforeyou apply to be “currently insured,” or covered. The higher your earnings have been and the longer you have earned them, the higher your SSDI check will be.

When a child is under age of 18 and a parent passes away, that child may collect dependent SSDI on their parent’s record until age of majority. This refers to any child whether disabled or not.

If the child is disabled and the disability began before age 22, benefits can continue into adulthood. If a special needs child is getting SSI and the parent passes away, the child would then be eligible for SSDI.

Receiving SSDI does not automatically make someone eligible for Medicare. After receiving SSDI for 24 months, Medicare eligibility will begin.

Summary of Social Security: SSDI does not consider income or assets when determining eligibility; SSI is financially based.