Children with disabilities are entitled to Social Security benefits. There are a few quid pro quos that must be satisfied, of course. You can apply on behalf of your disabled children, but you must have accumulated enough "work credits" on your own work history report with Social Security before you can even apply. If you are unfamiliar with work credits, and why you have to have them before your children can receive benefits, the following information will help. Additionally, if your attempts to get benefits for your children fail, you should hire a Social Security attorney.
Work Credits System
For each year that you work and for each $1,200 you make, you earn one credit a year for a total of up to four credits annually. If you were going to claim benefits for yourself, you would need a minimum of forty accumulated work credits (which is ten years of work), and you would have had to work the last ten years. The same holds true even though you are attempting to file for benefits on your children's behalf.
If you have fewer credits, or you have worked less than ten previous years, you will need a lawyer to argue for benefits based on the severity and level of functioning of your children. The only exception to this rule is when a parent is under the age of twenty and cannot possibly be expected to have ten years of employment history.
Why SSA Counts YOUR Work Credits
Social Security Administration, or SSA, is forced to count your work credits under this system because, clearly, your children have no work history. They have no work history, and even if they were children without disabilities, they would not have a work history or enough accumulated credits. If you do not have enough credits because you are in your mid-twenties when your children are diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or other highly prevalent disabilities, there is a very good chance you would not have enough credits.
This is where a Social Security lawyer on retainer really makes a big difference because your children have lots of additional care expenses you are not able to cover on your own. Your lawyer can gather all of the evidence to prove that you intend to continue working to help support your children and thus, you would eventually meet the work credit criteria in a couple of years.