The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to adults who have worked long enough to qualify for them. But, adults aren’t the only ones who may need disability benefits. Are disabled children eligible for Social Security benefits? Here’s what you should know if you have a disabled child:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
Children under the age of 18 can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if they meet certain requirements. First, the SSA must consider the child disabled. This means the child must have a mental and/or physical condition that seriously limits his daily activities. The condition is only considered disabling if it is either expected to last for a minimum of one year or if it is expected to result in death. Some of the conditions that the SSA classifies as disabilities for children are Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness, and deafness.
Believe it or not, the SSA will also want to look at the child’s income before determining whether or not he qualifies for SSI benefits. In 2017, the monthly income limit for SSI applicants is $1,170. This means a child who makes more than $1,170 per month will not qualify for benefits.
However, the SSA understands that most children are financially supported by their parents. Therefore, the SSA will need to see the parents’ income as well if the disabled child lives at home. The SSA will also review the parents’ income if the disabled child lives away from home, but comes home frequently or is still financially dependent on his parents. Then, the SSA will use a complex formula to determine if the parents’ income is too high for the child to qualify for benefits.
It’s important to note that a child is not eligible for benefits if he makes over $1,170 a month, but if his parents make over $1,170 a month, this does not automatically disqualify the child. The formula that the SSA uses to determine whether the parents’ income disqualifies the child is far more complex.
Applying For SSI Benefits
Parents will need to submit a significant amount of the child’s information to the SSA in order to apply for SSI benefits. The SSA will need access to the child’s school and medical records to see what type of condition the child has and how it has affected his life. The SSA will also ask if they are allowed to speak directly to the child’s healthcare providers and teachers so they can learn more about the disability.
If your child is disabled, it’s best to let an attorney assist with the application for SSI benefits. The attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. will ensure the SSA has the information they need to approve your child’s application for disability benefits. Please call us today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.