A woman called me this week about disability benefits for her child. The woman had been on Social Security disability for years before she had her daughter. When the child turned four, the woman went to Social Security to see if her daughter could also get benefits. Social Security told her the child was eligible, but only for the past year. The woman wanted to know why her
daughter could not get benefits back to the year she was born. The short answer is that Social Security can only go back one year from the date of application for disability benefits. This meant that the woman who called had missed out on three years of benefits for her daughter. Given that this would have amounted to around $6,000 a year, that is a notable loss.
The lesson here is to notify Social Security within the first year of having a child. If you do so, you should not lose any benefits to which the child is entitled.
Does Not Apply To SSI Beneficiaries
Here are a few things to keep in mind on this issue:
* This only applies if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits. If you are getting Supplemental Security Income(SSI) benefits, your dependents are not entitled to anything.
* If you already have other children getting benefits due to your disability, you will likely run into the family maximum. It is still worth telling Social Security about a new family member. Social Security can tell you whether it makes sense to add another child. If the total monthly beneftis will not increase, it may not make sense. You could always add a child if another one becomes too old to get benefits due to your disability.
One More Thing To Do
Having a new bundle of joy in the house gives you a long list of things to do. If you are on Social Security disability, add notifying Social Security of the baby's arrival to that list.