What Is A Child Benefit For Disability?
Children are precious. They are our future. They are a representation of our hopes and dreams. More than anything, children are a part of us. If you have a child or children, you know this. You want the best for your child. You want nothing more than to see your child grow up as a healthy, happy adult. Unfortunately, this is not always easy. Some children struggle. Certain children will go through life with disabilities that are not only noticeable, but absolutely life-changing. When a child is struck with a disability, the effects are complicated. The consequences of child disability not only affect the child. Entire families must adapt. Parents must find ways to help the child. There are numerous medical costs. Therapy may be required. Accommodations are often necessary. When a child is disabled, it can break a parent’s heart. Needless to say, this disabling condition can also break a parent’s wallet. Although every parent wants the best for his or her child, reaching that best can be difficult. This is why disability benefits are so important. The Social Security Administration (SSA) was specifically designed to help. The SSA is a large federal program that provides a variety of assistance to people in need. Children who are struggling with disabilities are certainly in need. Fortunately, the SSA has provided specific resources for these children. Caregivers, representatives and parents of children younger than age 18 can help. By consulting the SSA, these important child guardians can help disabled children obtain the benefits deserved.
What Is A Child Disability Benefit?
Children with disabilities are often eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. Even adults can be eligible for such benefits. If a current adult became disabled before age 22, that adult could be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Because these SSDI benefits are paid through a parent’s Social Security earnings record, the benefits are deemed children’s benefits. Although SSDI is important, the SSI application is one of the most common applications completed for disabled children. When completing these forms, applicants must be wary of the criteria. Not all children will qualify, even if those children are disabled. The SSA also looks at financial and vocational qualifications.
The best Children’s Benefit Lawyer will understand this process completely. With the help of an attorney, an applicant can significantly approve the likelihood of approval for children’s disability benefits. It is important to recognize the various requirements for a child’s qualification under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) system.
Understanding The SSI Disability Application For Child
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) delivers monthly payments to beneficiaries of low income and limited means. These recipients must also be: (1) aged 65 or older, or (2) blind, or (3) disabled. A child under the age of 18 can qualify if he or she has medical condition or group of conditions that the SSA recognizes as ‘disabling.’ Income and resources for the child must also qualify within the SSA parameters. Certain states increase these SSI payments with additional assistance. A local Child Benefit Office will explain these pertinent facts in detail.
It is important that applicants understand not only how to apply, but the reasons for applying.
How To Apply For Child Benefit
Before applying, a parent or guardian should review what is called the “Child Disability Starter Kit.” This resource will address typical concerns about applying for disability benefits. It also uses a worksheet to organize common information required for applications.
If the applicant finds that the child generally qualifies, the applicant can then contact the Social Security Administration (SSA). The applicant can choose to meet an agent in-person or call toll-free at 210-923-1234. This step will help determine if the applicant’s child qualifies within the income/resources requirements.
Thirdly, the applicant should complete an online Child Disability Report. This form is important because it fully expands upon the child’s disabling condition(s). The form will also grant medical professionals the permission to provide the SSA information regarding the child’s disability. All of this information is crucial in helping the SSA make a determination on the child disability claim. Although the Child Disability Report is available for completion online, all other aspects of the application process must be conducted either in-person or by phone. The SSA will guide applicants through all necessary steps.
Pursuing Social Security Disability Child Benefits
Parents and guardians must understand that SSI qualifying criteria are stringent for a reason. There are many other types of benefits, insurance and assistance that a disabled child may receive. SSI benefits, however, are different. These are based on both financial and medical need. The SSA will consider all types of income and resources when making the determination. These income and resources include those of the child and the family. This applies whether the child lives with the family or is away at school and occasionally returns to the family home. If either the child’s income and resources, or the family’s, exceed the SSA limits, the child will be denied for benefits. The SSA is very strict about its criteria.
The medical and financial criteria for a disabled child require that the child:
- Is not earning more than $1,220 a month in 2019, if not blind. If blind, he or she cannot earn more than $2,040 monthly.
- Has a medical condition, or conditions, that cause “marked and severe functional limitations.”
- Has condition(s) that have been disabling, or are expected to be disabling, for at least 12 months; or the condition(s) are expected to be terminal.
In most cases, the local Social Security agency will take as long as five months to make a determination about a disabled child. However, this is not always the case. Certain disabling medical conditions qualify the child for immediate SSI payments. These conditions qualify for SSI payments for as long as 6 months, even as the SSA makes its formal determination. Such conditions include:
(1) Total blindness
(2) Total deafness
(3) Cerebral palsy
(4) Down syndrome
(5) Muscular dystrophy
(6) Severe intellectual disability
(7) HIV infections; and
(8) Extremely low birth weights
Once the child has begun receiving SSI payments, the SSA is required to review the child’s disabling conditions on a regular basis. The SSA will address the child’s condition as often as every three years to determine if the condition has improved, or is expected to improve. Once the child becomes an adult at age 18, the SSA will use the adult set of medical and non-medical rules for approving and denying SSI disability payments.