TN 15 (08-11)

RS 00203.080 Childhood Disability Benefits

A. General information about childhood disability benefits (CDB)

1. Age and eligibility for CDB

Child's insurance benefits may be payable for months in which the child is age 18 if either of the following are true.

  • The person has a disability that began before age 22.

  • The person has a disability that began after age 22 and that disability began before the close of the 84-month period following the month in which the child's most recent entitlement to benefits as a CDB was terminated because the disability ceased.

Effective 10/01/2004, P.L. 108-203 allows re-entitlement to childhood disability benefits after the usual 84-month period if the beneficiary’s previous entitlement terminated because of the performance of substantial gainful activity. For more information on requirements for re-entitlement, see DI 10115.035 and for more information on CDB, see RS 00203.015.

Despite differences in development and in post-adjudicative events, it is important to recognize that the CDB benefit is the same type of benefit as that payable for months before the child is age 18.

NOTE: For months prior to January 1973, the law provided that the disability must have begun prior to age 18.

2. Definition of disability

The definition of disability for CDB cases is the same as for Disability Insurance Benefit (DIB) cases. For more information on disability requirement, see DI 10105.065. However, a CDB does not have to serve a waiting period prior to entitlement. For instructions on conducting the disability interview, see DI 11005.018.

3. Extended period of eligibility

The 36-month re-entitlement provision (extended period of eligibility) applies to CDBs.

4. Relationship, dependency, in-care

The same tests for determining relationship and dependency apply to disabled children age 18 or over as to children under age 18.

5. Work deductions

Do not impose work deductions against a CDB because of the child’s work, but work deductions incurred by the worker will have the same effect on a CDB as on any other auxiliary. If a CDB marries a worker entitled under the Retirement Survivors Insurance (RSI) provisions, the CDB is subject to deductions due to the spouse’s work, compute all deductions as though he or she was entitled to husband's or wife's benefits on the worker's earnings record (ER). For more information on CDB payment deductions, see DI 10115.001F. For more information on work activity by the CDB, see DI 10115.022B.2.

B. Procedure for childhood disability benefits

1. Inquiries before child reaches age 17 ½

When there is an inquiry regarding CDB benefits on behalf of a child who is entitled to child's benefits, and not at least age 17 ½, tell the inquirer or the payee to contact the field office (FO) when the child reaches age 17 ½ unless the child's disability is material for the entitlement of a young spouse, mother, or father beneficiary.

2. Application for Child’s Insurance Benefits, Form SSA-4-BK or electronic equivalent

a. General information for completing the SSA-4-BK

Take a CDB claim on the same application form SSA-4-BK, or its electronic equivalent, as other child benefit claims. For information on filing for child’s benefits, see RS 00203.065.

b. When a new application is required

Take a new application in the following situations:

  • An initial claim filed for child's insurance benefits based on a disability and the child is age 17 ½ or older.

  • A subsequent claim filed for child's insurance benefits, the child terminated at age 18, or later, and the child is now filing based on a disability with an alleged onset date that began after termination of previous benefits.

  • A subsequent claim filed for child's insurance benefits, the child terminated at age 18 or later, and the child is now reapplying, more than 4 years after termination to child’s benefits, based on a disability with an alleged onset date that began prior to termination.

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