Ask Larry

Do You Think That I Could Qualify For Disability Benefits From My Step-Father's Record?

As a child, my mother received Social Security benefits after my step father died when I was 11 years old. I had been molested by this man from the time I was 3 years until his death. Although I never applied for any disability benefits or even SSI until my late 50s, I believe my disability began as a child as a direct result of the years of molestation. I began using drugs at age 12 and have continued to use throughout my life. I was first sentenced to prison at age 17 on a drug charge, and have gone to prison 5 times throughout my life. I have been married 7 times, and am currently separated from my 7th husband. I have never been able to hold down a job, although I have sincerely tried. In short, it seems obvious to me that my disability actually began as a child, but I tried very hard all throughout my life to overcome the emotional and psychological problems that were a result of growing up being forced to perform oral sex on my step father and allowing him to have anal sex with me from the time I was 3 years old, continuing for the following 8 years up until his death. To be perfectly honest, it only seemed right to me that I should be able to receive Social Security Disability based on his earnings rather than only SSI based on mine. Can you please give me your opinion on this? Thank you.


I'm very sorry to hear about your sad and disturbing childhood. The only way to find out if you qualify for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits is to file a claim with Social Security. To be approved, it will need to be established that your condition has been disabling since before you turned age 22. That can be very difficult to do because of the length of time involved and the availability of pertinent medical records. Your work history after age 22 will also be a material factor in the determination, and it's frequently difficult to get information from past employers that might be required in order to approve your claim.

As I said, though, the only way to know for sure whether or not you qualify is to file an application with Social Security. They will assist you in filing the application, and they will then make a determination after completing the required development. It won't cost you anything to apply, and you can file an appeal if your claim is disallowed.

Best, Jerry

Dec 18 2019 - 10:06am
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