Ask Larry

Is It Still Possible For Me To File For Survivor Benefits As A Disabled Adult Child At Age 36?

Hi, I have never had SGA. My social security records show that. I am 36 and was diagnosed a few years ago with autism. My doctor maintains that autism begins at birth and so I have had it all of my life. It just was undiagnosed because people did not know much about it when I was a kid, but I have always struggled with extreme anxiety and depression and insomnia. I have few medical records from back then because it was long ago, but I was wondering if it is possible to do DAC for my dad's survivor benefits, because I have never had a full time job or SGA due to undiagnosed autism my whole life. My current therapist says my autism is disabling. Thank you


Yes, you can still apply for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits, but to be approved it will need to be established that you have been continuously disabled since before you turned age 22. Proving that may be difficult if your condition was undiagnosed until after that and if there are minimal pertinent medical records dating back to the years prior to when you reached age 22. Also, you must be unmarried in order to potentially qualify for DAC benefits.

By the way, if you do apply for survivor benefits as a DAC and if your claim ends up being approved, there is a 6 month limit on benefit retroactivity. What that means is that Social Security could only pay you back pay for a maximum of 6 months prior to the month of your application for benefits. Your monthly benefits could continue indefinitely, though, as long as you continue to meet the requirements for benefits. You would need to call Social Security in order to initiate the application process, or visit an office when they are open to the public.

Best, Jerry

Feb 13 2021 - 8:06am
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