Friday, March 11, 2011

“Secret” Child’s Benefits

If you are awarded Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) will send you a Notice of Award that details the past and future SSD benefits to which you are entitled. However, the SSA does not automatically tell you that you may be entitled to receive additional benefits for your children under 19 who are still in school. Nor does the SSA tell you that you cannot receive children’s benefits unless you file a separate application for them.

I represent a 46 year old HVAC mechanic who received his first SSD check today, less than five months after I filed his application. The SSA did not notify him about his right to children’s benefits, nor did they send him an application for those auxiliary benefits. The children’s benefit is usually about half of the SSD benefit.

You cannot rely on the SSA to take steps to help you secure children’s benefits. When applying for SSD benefits it is important to disclose the identities of dependents because the disclosure provides a protective filing date for those benefits.

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