Our dedicated Government Affairs team has been hard at work advocating for the Work Without Worry Act (H.R. 4003 & S. 2108). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would ensure that all disabled adult children (DAC) would be able to explore their ability to work without risking their future DAC benefits.
For context, an adult who lives with a severe disability that begins before age 22 may be eligible for a Social Security benefit called the Disabled Adult Child benefit (DAC, sometimes called Childhood Disability Benefit or CDB). These benefits are reserved for those with serious lifelong disabilities such as Down Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, or intellectual disabilities. While these individuals are adults, they are eligible for Social Security benefits under their parent’s earning record as the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers them dependent on their parents.
As these individuals enter adulthood, they often want to explore their ability to enter the workforce. Sadly, many of these individuals risk losing their future DAC benefits if they attempt to enter the workforce under
current law. For many of these individuals, these modest benefits are the difference between living above or below the poverty level. Once parents collect these Social Security benefits (or are deceased), their children can attempt to enter the workforce without risking their future benefits. Due to a flaw in the current law, if parents have not started to collect Social Security benefits and their disabled adult child works for as little as one month above a certain level, the adult child loses his or her eligibility for DAC benefits for life. The risk of losing these critical future benefits has a chilling effect on whether some people with disabilities even attempt to enter the workforce.
The Work Without Worry Act would correct this oversight under current law and remove this work disincentive.
If you are a member who would like to join NOSSCR staff in a virtual meeting with your Congressional staff, please email Director of Political and Legislative Strategy Michael Linskey at Michael.Linskey[at]nosscr.org.