Let's Talk About the Age 18 Redetermination Process

Many changes come when a child turns 18. The door opens to independence, rights, and responsibilities, and if they have been receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, they must soon undergo the Age 18 Redetermination process.

The SSA requires children eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to undergo a full disability redetermination before age 19. SSA schedules an appointment with the student to conduct the redetermination which will determine if the student remains eligible for benefits. If so, SSA will then classify the student as an adult and they will then begin receiving benefits on their own record through SSA.

The Age 18 Redetermination process is the first time the SSA applies the adult SSI disability definition, and they treat the case like a new disability benefits application. The evaluation assesses whether the individual’s impairment(s) meets or equals any of the adult criteria, and, if not, whether they can perform work at a substantial level.

If the child received Medicaid or Medicaid waiver services before age 18, they must complete the Age 18 Redetermination process and apply for SSI benefits to maintain that coverage as an adult. The adult standard is more stringent, and some may not qualify. On the other hand, some who were not previously eligible under their parents’ care or income standards may now be eligible.

For a young adult who is determined no longer eligible for SSI following the Age 18 Redetermination process, the Section 301 provision allows continuation of disability or statutory blindness benefits until the conditions have medically improved while they are participating in a program of vocational rehabilitation, employment, or other support services.

Once SSA approves redetermination, the young adult steps toward independence and can begin receiving benefits based on their own situation, needs, and disability records.


Students in Transition SSI After 18 Fact Sheet

What You Need to Know About Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) When You Turn 18