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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 27888
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I am a 53 year old widow with a disabled son who is turning

Customer Question

I am a 53 year old widow with a disabled son who is turning 16 in August. I am currently receiving two payments from Social Security each month. We each receive approximately $1500 a month. I recently got a letter from Social Security regarding my benefits terminating because my child is turning 16. My reading of the letter indicates that I might be eligible for continued benefits because my child is disabled. I have called Social Security and have received different information depending on who I talk to. Do my benefits end or should I pursue this further?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. You say that you receive two payments each month. I see that there are a number of different benefits that you each might qualify for. Possible benefits are your survivor benefit, your son's survivor benefit, and your benefit for being the primary caretaker of your son while he is receiving a survivor benefit.

Which two benefits are you receiving?

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My son receives a survivor benefit. I believe my benefits are as caretaker of a child. My husband died in 2004.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

Thank you for the additional information.

Yes, it is possible to continue to receive caregiver benefits for your child over 16 years of age, if your child is legally disabled. Normally, the caregiver benefits end when the youngest eligible child reaches age 16. However, benefits may continue when your child is over 16 if you can show that you need to exercise the same kind of parental authority for your over 16 child as you would for a child under 16. Social security will have to determine whether your son meets the standard of disability, and if he does, then you will get the caregiver benefit.

Social Security's definition of disability is as follows:

"Disability" under Social Security is based on a person's to work. They consider a person disabled under Social Security rules if:

  • They cannot do work that they did before;
  • They decide that the person cannot adjust to other work because of their medical condition(s); and
  • That the disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

You will need to apply to Social Security to have your son deemed disabled under the law, and then you will be eligible for continued benefits as the caregiver.

 

If you, yourself, are disabled, then if you want you may make a claim for your survivor benefit as early as age 50, rather than waiting until age 60.

 

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My son has been diagnosed with Autism Spectum Disorder. He has been in special education classes for his entire school history. He can read and write. He struggles with communication and focus. He lacks the skills of an average 16 year old. I think anyone that spent five minutes with him would characterize him as disabled. Do you think I should go to the Social Security office in person? Do I need to hire someone to represent me?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

Based on your description of your son;s medical condition, I don't believe that you will need an attorney to represent you in the initial application process.

You will want to make an appointment to meet with someone at your local social security office who can take your application and make the necessary arrangements to get your son;t medical history, and possibly have him seen by a social security physician to verify the disability.

I wish you and your son the best in your futures.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 27888
Experience: I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
LawTalk and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

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