Parent Focus: Turning 18

The Basics

At 18, your child becomes an adult. Around the same time, there might be other life changes, such as high school graduation, a first job, or moving out of the family home.

As these happen, your child’s benefits might change:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medi-Cal have different rules for children and adults.
  • Your child can manage his or her own Medi-Cal benefits and medical care.
  • Some benefits are only for children, so if your child gets them now, he or she will stop getting them as an adult.
  • Other benefits are only for adults, so your child may start getting them.

This doesn’t mean your child will be worse off: after turning 18, your child may qualify for the same benefits as before and possibly more.

Getting a job does not mean benefits will stop

Benefits programs are designed to make sure your child will be better off when working. Your child can get a job and still get the benefits he or she needs as an adult.

Learn more