Ask Larry

Can A DAC Opt For The Higher Of SSI Or Half Of Their Father's Disablity Benefit?

For a DAC from birth (Down Syndrome) who started receiving SSI at age 18, can they opt for the higher of SSI or half of the father's disability benefit (still working - 35 yrs paying into SS)? This will not effect the current Medicaid Waiver program? Also, will not effect the ability to receive 75% of the Mother of Father's FRA SS upon the parents passing? Nor will it effect the Mother of Father's ability to collect SS upon reaching FRA?


A disabled adult child (DAC) can only receive Social Security benefits on the record of a parent if the parent is either deceased or drawing Social Security retirement or disability benefits. If a person is drawing Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they are required to apply for any Social Security benefits (e.g. DAC) for which they could qualify. And, if the amount of their Social Security benefit is higher than the amount of their SSI payment their SSI stops. If their Social Security benefit is lower than their SSI amount, their SSI payments would be reduced roughly dollar for dollar by the amount of their Social Security benefit. A person can't choose not to file for Social Security and continue to draw SSI instead.

I'm not an expert on the Medicaid program, but since it's needs based I would assume that the amount of a person's Social Security benefit would be considered in determining whether or not they qualify for Medicaid or the Medicaid Waiver program.

If someone qualifies for DAC benefits on the records of more than one parent, they can only be paid the higher of their benefit rates. They can't be paid on more than one parent's record at the same time.

Best, Jerry

Oct 21 2019 - 12:17pm
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