A) Determine the age at which your son or daughter became disabled. Was it at birth? Was it the result of an injury? Was there a specific diagnosis such as autism or pervasive developmental delay? Was your child born with Down Syndrome? When was the diagnosis made, and how was the diagnosis documented?
B) Find documentation to prove the age when the disability occurred. Medical records are the best proof. Sometimes school records provide the answer. Did your child have an IEP in school? Did your child receive speech, occupational, or physical therapy in school?
C) Read about the Disabled Adult Children program on the social security web site to determine what questions you may want to ask social security to make sure your application will be approved.
D) Call the Social Security Administration’s toll-free telephone number, 1-800-772-1213. Make an appointment to receive a personal telephone call from a social security representative, and be prepared to ask questions. Use the online tools to gather information, seek out options, and prepare yourself to ask questions that will draw out as much information as possible from the representative. This way, you will have the best chance of maximizing your return on the social security investment you, your spouse, or your parents have been making over many years.
E) Fill out the application as thoroughly as possible, making sure you provide all the documentation requested to ensure your child qualifies for benefits.
F) File the application, keeping a complete copy for your records. Follow-up as necessary to ensure that the application doesn’t get misplaced or lost in a pile.
G) If you child has been receiving Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits, make sure they will continue to be available or adjusted because of the new benefits.
H) After receiving DAC benefits for two years, your child will be eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter what age he or she is. (NB: A Bill was introduced in the Senate this past March to phase out the two-year waiting period.)