If one became disabled as a child and never worked, it's my understanding that they can only receive SSI, not SSDI. How is the determination made that one is permanently disabled or does the determination get reviewed periodically?
The determination is made the same way for SSD as for SSI. The eligibility test is the difference. SSD is absolute, regardless of your financial status; SSI is needs based. I think that if a child receives disability as a child, it is through the parent's benefits. Upon reaching majority, this can continue, so long as certain qualifying events occur or don't occur (like marriage), as the case may be.
The disability determination is based upon a multi-level analysis - the listings, the grids and then an overall evaluation of residual functional capacity and what the claimant can do weighed against available jobs in the national and regional economies. Speak to a lawyer who handles these cases for more specific information that is directly applicable to your case.
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In some cases it is possible to get SSDI as a disabled adult child if a parent is retirement age, deceased or disabled.
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Looks like the two attorneys above know their stuff. You would probably benefit from an AVVO search for a disability attorney in your area. This way, you won't wonder about your rights. The government is generally out to do good, but they are people and sometimes look for the shortest distance between point A and point B. A lawyer can help in the right situation.
There's no such thing as "permanently disabled." The SSA may seek to review or re-certify a person receiving disability benefits. Moreover, there are many things a disabled person can do which results in losing disability benefits.
Persons who have tricked themselves into believing they are "permanently disabled" are usually the first persons to lose their benefits through complacency and a false sense of entitlement.
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