Is A Person Eligible For DAC Benefits Even If They've Performed SGA?

May 10 2018 - 9:54pm

Claimant had severe scoliosis as a child . They implanted Harrington rods in her spine when she was 10 or 12. She did well, went to college, got a job --
and then the rods failed around 30 years old. She is currently severely disabled. she can only lay on her abdomen wth a wedge. She is unmarried and her father is 67 on SSA.

Q: IS SHE ELIGIBLE FOR A DAC CLAIM EVEN THOUGH SHE HAD A PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT ABOVE SGA?

Hi,

If the substantial gainful activity (SGA) was performed after age 22, then probably not. In order for a person to qualify for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits Social Security must determine that they were continuously disabled from before age 22 up until they first qualify for DAC benefits. And if the person performed work that Social Security considers to have been SGA after age 22, that would normally preclude subsequently establishing an initial period of DAC entitlement for that person.

However, depending on the specifics and length of the work performed, earnings that exceed SGA level (currently $1180 per month average) can sometimes be dismissed as an unsuccessful work attempt (UWA) (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0410501055). A UWA performed after age 22 would not bar potential entitlement to DAC benefits.

Another possibility to consider is that if the person you refer to worked and paid into Social Security for a significant period of time then there's a possibility that they may qualify for disability benefits based on their own work record (SSDI). For more information on SSDI benefits, refer to the following Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10029.pdf.

Best, Jerry