Five Things to Keep in Mind When Applying for Your Child’s Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Description: If you are struggling to provide basic living expenses for your child with disabilities Supplemental Security Income may be the answer to your problems. Follow these 5 tips from our expert team to help you decide if this solution is right for you and your child.

One way to receive disability benefits for your child is through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Although this program is not the only way to receive Social Security benefits, it allows for a way to receive benefits to assist with basic living expenses. This program has numerous requirements that require a detailed look into eligibility, but here are five things to keep in mind when you are considering an application for SSI benefits for your child.

  1. Household Income

In some cases, your child’s SSI application may be denied if the household income exceeds the amount determined by the SSA. A helpful chart, as well as exceptions, may be found here. The SSA considers factors such as number of ineligible children in the household, and gross monthly income, whether earned or unearned.

  1. Medical Conditions

SSA requires that your child’s medical conditions result in marked and severe functional limitations, those conditions must last or be expected to last for 12 months, or if your child is blind[1]. It also considers function in six general domains: acquiring and using information, attending and completing tasks, interacting and relating with others, moving about and manipulating objects, caring for yourself, and health and physical wellbeing. A more detailed outline of what SSA considers regarding your child’s functioning may be found here.

  1. Do Not Wait to File

If you believe that your child is disabled and should receive SSI disability benefits, do not wait to file. The date you file the application is the earliest date that SSA may pay benefits, depending on when or if your child is approved and there is minimum age requirement. Some medical conditions may qualify for your child to immediately begin receiving SSI benefits while SSA is deciding if your child is eligible for benefits. According to SSA, some of the conditions may include total blindness, total deafness, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, severe intellectual disability for children age 4 or older, symptomatic HIV infection, or birth weight below 2 pounds, 10 ounces[2].

  1. Talk to Doctors and Teachers

The SSA considers what your child’s medical and educational professionals observe as well as objective testing. It is important to discuss your child’s limitations with those that spend time with them. They will be able to provide you with insight as to what they see daily at home, in childcare, at school, and in the community.

  1. Get Experienced Help

The rules for SSI are complicated and the above are not the only considerations to determine eligibility. Also, SSI benefits are not the only way a child may receive benefits. If you have questions regarding your child’s eligibility for SSI or other social security benefits, contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. The requirements for SSI can be confusing and the process can be long, but you can have peace of mind by having an experienced professional advocating for your child.

[1] https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-child-ussi.htm

[2] https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf