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What should I know about SSI benefits when I turn 18?

Disabled individuals in Oklahoma who are receiving Supplemental Security Income through the Social Security disability program should be aware of the rules that go along with their benefits. This is particularly important to people who have received benefits while under the age of 18 and have issues that will continue and warrant benefits after they turn 18.

When the claimant turns 18, there will be a redetermination. The case will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration and it will be decided whether the person meets the rules for an adult to receive SSI benefits. This includes eligibility rules that are not connected to the medical issues. The person will be contacted within a year of reaching age 18 about the redetermination. A letter will ask for the following information: what medicines are being taken; if there have been hospitalizations and surgeries; details about doctor and clinic visits; if there was any work activity; if counseling and therapy was given; if there was schooling and special classes or tutoring; and if there were counselors and teachers who are aware of the claimant's condition.

The case will be examined to decide if the person meets the criteria to receive benefits as an adult. The rules for adults differ from those for people under 18. Approximately one-third of those who receive benefits as a juvenile will have their benefits stopped when they turn 18. Those who have their benefits stopped can appeal. Earnings are also important for the SSI benefits and the redetermination. For those who are not new applicants, earning more than the substantial gainful activity does not end eligibility for SSI after age 18. If, for example, the person can only reach SGA levels because of the SSI work incentives, then this can be important when the case is being reassessed and might lead to the benefits continuing.

People who are getting SSI benefits as a youth must be aware that their benefits will be up for review when they turn 18. Turning 18 does not automatically mean the benefits will stop. However, it is possible. When preparing for the redetermination, those who are getting SSI benefits should have legal assistance for their case. Discussing the matter with a legal professional who is experienced in all aspects of SSI Supplemental Security Income is imperative.

Source: ssa.gov, "What You Need To Know About Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) When You Turn 18," accessed on Aug. 4, 2017

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The Law Center for Social
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