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Age 18 Redetermination

When a child is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and is about to turn 18 years old, the SSA requires that the individual is re-evaluated as an adult. This is due to the fact that the requirements for eligibility differ between an adult and a child. In several instances, the little to no income most 18-year olds receive will cause his or her monthly benefits to actually increase.


The Difference Between Children and Adult Redeterminations

The restrictions for re-evaluations between children and adults are actually quite similar. The differences are supposed to be equal in severity, so there is a good chance a child with an approved disability will also be approved as an adult. Although this is no guaranteed that a child who receives SSI will be approved again as an adult. The SSA separates the Blue Book into two parts: the Adult Listings (Part A) and the Childhood Listings (Part B).

Below are the main differences between the listings:

Childhood Listings: Children are evaluated on how their condition hinders normal everyday activities compared to non-disabled children of the same age. The SSA will consider a child’s condition disabling if the child has limitations in at least two of the six areas of functioning or at least one “extreme” limitation. As a child, the income and assets of their parents or guardians are considered when evaluating the case.

Adult Listings: Adults are evaluated based on how their condition affects their ability to work any applicable job in the labor force. If the adult is able to achieve sustainable gainful activity (SGA) by working and making an income, they will be denied benefits. An adult is also limited to how much in assets they are allowed to own.

Other Factors Considered

When children who are turning 18 years old are re-evaluated, the SSA will evaluate them as an adult as well as look at the following:

How did the child function in educational programs?
The SSA will evaluate how well the child did in educational programs and schooling. They will look for any issues the child had throughout their education such as having a hard time paying attention, resisting authoritative personal (teachers or tutors), bad social experiences with classmates, and physical limitations noticed.

How were the child’s community experiences?
The SSA will evaluate how the child dealt with community experiences and if the child needed medication or support while doing so. Community experiences include volunteer jobs, work experiences, and group activities. The SSA will look over all medications given (if applicable) to see if the treatment had any positive or negative effects.

How did the child react toward work-related stress?
The SSA will evaluate how the child dealt with work-related stress. They will take into consideration comments made by relevant sources describing the child’s ability to handle stress in work-related situations.