What is the Social Security DAC – Disabled Adult Child Program?
Can you keep Medi-Cal?

Caretakers & Parents

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The DAC – Disabled Adult Child program provides full-scope, no cost Medi-Cal to qualifying adults who receive “Social Security Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits.”

An adult is entitled to receive Title II Social Security Act – Disabled Adult Child benefits if

  • that adult is unmarried;
  • has a disability that began before the age of 22;
  • and was dependent on his or her parent at the time of application, the time of the parent’s death, or at the time the parent’s own period of disability began.

The standard for determining disability is the same as for the Title II Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

To qualify as a Medi-Cal Disabled Adult Child an individual must be entitled to receive Title II Disabled Adult Child benefits and must have had and lost SSI because of eligibility for these Title II benefits.

Individuals first receive Social Security DAC payments at the time of the retirement, disability or death of a parent. When this occurs, an individual who is receiving SSI can begin receiving a DAC payment that is higher than the SSI payment rate. This makes the individual ineligible for SSI and for SSI-linked Medi-Cal.

The DAC MediCal program maintains the status quo with respect to Medi-Cal by continuing to provide categorical Medi-Cal so long as the individual would be eligible for SSI if the individual were not receiving the DAC Social Security payments. The DAC Medi-Cal program, like the Pickle program, also provides protection from loss of SSI-linked Medi-Cal caused by Social Security COLAs. This second part of the DAC Medi-Cal program is sometimes called the “Pickle DAC” or “pseudo Pickle DAC” program.

Instructions on how to move from SSI to SSDI and keep Medi Cal & Medicaid.

If our webpage, that we pretty much copied from Official Sources is hard to read, try the explanation on Sellers Law Firm website or Hill & Ponton  

DAC Program Eligibility Requirements


Individuals who receive “Social Security DAC” benefits can qualify for full-scope, no cost Medi-Cal if they:

• Received SSI in July 1987 or later;
• Initially qualified for Title II DAC benefits, or qualified for an increase in Title II DAC benefits, on or after June 1, 1987; and
• Would be eligible for SSI now but for either:

° the current receipt of Title II DAC benefits which they first became eligible for while they were receiving SSI, or
° the increase in Title II benefits because of COLAs since they last received both Title II benefits and SSI.

In order for an individual with Title II DAC benefits to continue to receive MediCal with no Share of Cost, the Social Security Title II income is disregarded when calculating Medi-Cal eligibility. Under federal law, the individual is treated for Medicaid purposes as if they were still an SSI beneficiary.

To determine if an individual who received both Title II Social Security DAC and SSI at some time in the past qualifies for the Medi-Cal DAC Program, compare their Title II grant level in 1987 with the current SSI grant level. If they would qualify for SSI now, i.e., if their Title II DAC benefits were at the same level as when they last qualified for both benefits, then the individual is eligible for no-cost Medi-Cal through the MediCal DAC program. The individual would also qualify for no-cost Medi-Cal if they became eligible for Title II DAC benefits after July 1987.


When determining an individual’s eligibility for no-cost Pickle or DAC Medi-Cal based on COLA’s, you cannot deduct Medicare premiums from the person’s Title II benefits. In others words, count the Title II benefits before any Medicare premium deductions are taken.

Getting and Keeping DAC Medi-Cal


Any individual described above who qualifies should be able to get Medi-Cal either as a continuing benefit when she loses SSI or, if later, as a new applicant under the Medi-Cal DAC Program. The state periodically sends counties lists of Title II DAC recipients whose SSI/SSP has been or is being terminated.21 The counties are required to contact the recipients to see if they need assistance in completing the forms required for the application process.22 Eligible individuals should remain eligible as long as they meet all the other SSI eligibility rules. Copied from Western Poverty Law Center – Coverage for Low Income California’s DAC Program Page 84 – Non Magi Medi-Cal 3.71


Eligibility Group Requirements*: An individual who was receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and who meets the following:

• Is at least 18 years of age;
• Has blindness or a disability which began before the age of 22;
• Has been receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on blindness or disability; and
• Has lost Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to the receipt of Social Security benefits on a parent’s record due to the retirement, death or disability of a parent.

*If the person meets all of the above criteria, they may qualify as a Disabled Adult Child under Section 1634 of the Social Security Act (regarding DAC). This designation comes from the Social Security Administration. Eligibility for Medicaid may continue as long as the person is determined blind or disabled. However, if the person receives income from another source or exceeds the resource limits, they may become ineligible for Medicaid coverage  See the rest of the New Jersey 2 page explanation

Caretakers & Parents

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Social Security Disability Benefits # 10029
Social Security Disability Benefits # 10029


More than you ever wanted to know on SSI

Understanding  SSI  # 17-008 120 pages 

understanding ssi # 17-008

Benefits for Children with Disabilities  # 10026  

Benefits for children with disabilities # 10026

Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability

Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability  

We do have a reference copy in our office

Attorney's that can help you through the Social Security Disability maze

California Social Security Attorney.org/

Daniel Hantman, Esq.

Helene Hoffman Esq

Elkind & Shea (Maryland and a few other East Coast States) 

CA State Bar Attorney Referral Service  

Legal Match.com 

Sellers Law  

Hill & Ponton  

6 Steps to apply for Social Security Disability

SSI Child Disability Starter Kit (for children under age 18)

Adult Disability Starter Kit(for children age 18 or older)

What you need to know to get Social Secuirty Disabiltiy Benefits # 10153

Disability Benefits # 10029

Reviewing your Disability Publication # 10068

How Social Security decides if you are still disabled # 10053

Going out of Country – No coverage under Original Medicare – Get Quotes and enroll ONLINE
Going out of Country - No coverage under Original Medicare - Get Quotes and enroll ONLINE

Disability Publications, Resources & Links

Understanding Supplemental Security Income SSI For Children– 2019 Edition

Western Poverty Law Center – Coverage for Low Income California’s DAC Program Page 84 – Non Magi Medi-Cal 3.71

Our webpage on SSI & Medi Cal 

ObamaCare – Mental Health – One of 10 Essential Benefits

New Jersey 2 page explanation

ssa.gov Section 1634

Social Security Disability Planner: Benefits for A Disabled Child

Pickle Amendment Screening Q & A


Social Security Publications relating to Disability, SSI, SSDI

What you need to know to get Social Secuirty Disabiltiy Benefits # 10153

Disability Benefits # 10029

Reviewing your Disability Publication # 10068

How Social Security decides if you are still disabled # 10053

Check list for what’s needed on the application 001

Appeals Process 10041

Medicare # 10043

Supplemental Security Income # 11125

CA State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) 

Benefits for Children with Disabilities #10026

Benefits for Children # 10085

How to get a benefit verification letter # 10552

The Red Book – Employment Support for SSDI and SSI

Working while disabled 10095

Ticket to Work Program

How International Agreements can help you # 10180

Social Security for Foreign Governments # 10566

MORE Social Security Publications on their website



  1. What must I do to Qualify?
    1. Must be total & permanent disability
  2. What is Social Security’s eligibility process
  3. Where is Social Security’s home page for disability
  4. Can I get a Disability “Starter Kit?
  5. Tell me more about the Ticket to Work Program which gives you more choice in obtaining the services one needs to be able to go back to work and achieve your employment goals.
  6. Where can I get more disability information?
  7. Can I get an estimate of my retirement benefits? Sample Calculation
  1. Nolo.com Disability Benefits


Medicare Coverage





Free Advise.com

Social Security disability


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DI 10115.000

Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB)

Subchapter Table of Contents
DI 10115.001 Requirements for Entitlement to Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB)
DI 10115.005 Eligibility for Child’s Benefits Based on Disability
DI 10115.010 Other Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) Factors of Entitlement
DI 10115.015 Hospital Insurance (HI) Based on Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB) Entitlement
DI 10115.020 Application Forms for Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB)
DI 10115.022 Work Activity and Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB) Entitlement
DI 10115.025 Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB) First Month of Entitlement (MOET)
DI 10115.030 Retroactivity and Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB)
DI 10115.035 Requirements for Reentitlement
DI 10115.040 Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB) Reentitlement & Trial Work Period (TWP) Issues
DI 10115.045 Summary of Evidence and Forms Required for Reentitlement Based on a Disability Which Began After Age 18
DI 10115.050 Termination of Childhood Disability Benefit (CDB) Entitlement

10 comments on “DAC Disabled Adult Child – Keep Medi Cal

  1. My brother now has a part time job.

    How much can he make without losing his benefits.

    Social Services has given me such a run around he has even lost his benefits

  2. My daughter is a DAC since 2015 on her father’s record when his social security retirement benefits.

    The increase due to ssdi caused her to lose her ssi benefit. Due to the Craig vs Bonta lawsuit, Rank vs Lynch she was not redetermined at the time.

    She received notices (Rank vs Lynch tickler notice). Recently I received a call from ew @ district 80.

    I explained her DAC status and they are ignoring it and saying she’s not in the pickle group.

    DAC is under the umbrella of pickle.

    Disability rights does not seem to be doing much about this situation in Los Angeles county.

    What should we do?

    • Here’s instructions on how to move from SSI to SSDI.

      How do you do on these Pickle Amendment Screening Questions?

      Screening is as follows:

      Step 1. Ask the individual, “Are you now receiving a social security check?” If the answer is no, the individual is not Pickle eligible. If the answer is yes, go on to step 2.

      Step 2. Ask the individual, “After April 1977, did you ever get an SSI check at the same time that you got social security, or did you get SSI in the month just before your social security started?” If the answer is no, the individual is not Pickle eligible. If the answer is yes, go on to step 3.

      Step 3. Ask the individual, “What is the last month in which you received SSI?”

      Step 4. Look up, in the table below, the month in which the individual last received SSI. Find the percentage that applies to that month. Multiply the present amount of the individual’s (and/or spouse’s) social security (OASDI) benefits by the applicable percentage.

      Step 5. You have just calculated the individual’s countable social security income under the Pickle Amendment. Add the figure that you have just calculated to any other countable income the individual may have. If the resulting total is less than the current SSI income criteria in your state, the individual is Pickle eligible, from the standpoint of income, for Medicaid benefits. (The individual must still satisfy separate Medicaid resource and nonfinancial requirements.)


      See below where we gave another website visitor the email address for Medi Cal Eligibility. How about emailing them, showing them how it’s done and see what they say?

      If that doesn’t work, try one of the attorneys listed above on our page, or in the citations, in the upper right of where we got our information.

      Try this website too https://specialneedsanswers.com/

  3. I have been disabled since age two, and on SSI and Medi-Cal since eighteen.

    About two years ago I applied for DAC and Medicare followed.

    Then last year I was no longer receiving Medi-Cal.

    According to this information that you have provided and other websites I have read, I never should of been disconnected from Medi-Cal. The SSA and the County of Los Angeles should have my long term records. I filled six forms for Medi-Cal to different SSA and County offices and seem to get nowhere.

    Am I missing a correct office that I should contact?

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