Adults with disabilities who are unable to work may get financial support from the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. In many states, SSI recipients automatically qualify for health insurance through Medicaid.
Turning 18 brings changes in disability benefits. About 1 in 3 children who receive SSI benefits will lose them because the government evaluates needs for children and adults differently.
However, some young adults who were not eligible as children (usually due to the financial resources of their parents) will qualify for disability benefits at 18.
The Social Security Administration (which operates SSI) considers people 18 and older to be a household of 1 when determining financial eligibility – even if the person lives at home with parents. Applicants must meet the adult definition of disability.
To learn more about SSI, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit a local Social Security office. A social worker at the pediatric cancer center can usually help with applying for benefits.