How Are Disabled Adult Child's Benefits Calculated?

Dec 11 2016 - 4:00pm

Hi folks, hope you can help me with a couple of questions. My wife and I have a 21 yr old who collects SSI of $733/month due to disability since birth. I am age 62 and my wife is 55. I am trying to decide whether to take my social security retirement benefit at full retirement age (66) or wait until 70 (or some age between 66 and 70). Assuming our disabled child will qualify for DAC/CDB SSDI in the future as he is not likely to ever be gainfully employed, would me delaying my retirement to receive a greater benefit also afford him a greater DAC/CDB amount or is the amount he would receive tied solely to my full retirement age amount regardless of when I choose to begin receiving my retirement benefit?

Secondly, if I wait until some age beyond 66 to begin receiving my benefit, is it correct that our disabled son cannot receive his DAC/CDB benefit amount until I choose to receive mine? (i.e., DAC/CDB amount is only paid out once one of the parents is receiving their social security benefit).

Hope this makes sense and you are able to provide answers. Thanks in advance. Jeff

Hi Jeff,

Your son's disabled adult child (DAC) benefits would be calculated based on your full retirement age benefit rate (PIA), regardless of when you start drawing your benefits. And, he would not be able to receive DAC benefits on your record until you start drawing your benefits.

The base rate for DAC benefits is 50% of a living parent's PIA, or 75% of the PIA of a deceased parent. The actual rate payable could be lower if the family maximum is involved, which could be the case if and when your wife becomes entitled to benefits on your account.

By the way, since your son's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are needs based, they will be reduced essentially dollar for dollar when he becomes entitled to DAC benefits.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to explore all of your potential filing options.

Best, Jerry