HELPING YOUR CHILD OBTAIN MONTHLY PAYMENTS
To help ease the financial strain of caring for children with disabilities, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides cash payments to families with a disabled child in the home. There are three ways disabled children can obtain disability benefits and their eligibility guidelines can be confusing. To make things worse, caring for a disabled child
and trying to prepare, file or appeal a claim, meet deadlines and sort through the red tape can quickly become overwhelming. Klain & Associates can help take some of the weight off of your shoulders.
THERE ARE THREE WAYS CHILDREN CAN COLLECT DISABILITY BENEFITS
If your child has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition or disability, there are three ways he or she can obtain monthly cash benefits.
Low Income Disabled Children with Limited Resources
Disabled children whose families meet the income and resources eligibility guidelines may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Children who are approved for SSI can continue to receive monthly cash payments until they reach age 18. Once a disabled child turns 18, however, he or she must meet the requirements for adult SSI.
Benefits for Children Who Don’t Qualify for SSI
If your income and resources are too high for your child to qualify for SSI, he or she may be able to obtain monthly payments known as SSDI dependents’ benefits whether the child is disabled or not. Although children under 18 cannot receive SSDI benefits on their own, they may collect monthly payments based on the SSA earnings records of their disabled parents under certain circumstances. If you or your child’s other parent is currently receiving SSDI benefits or SSA retirement benefits, or if a parent received benefits before dying, your child may qualify for benefits.
If your child is eligible for dependents’ benefits, he or she will receive up to 50% of your monthly benefit (subject to a family maximum).
Your unmarried child can continue to receive these monthly payments until he or she reaches age 18, or 19 if a full-time student.
Extended Disability Benefits For Disabled Adult Children
Adult child benefits are extended auxiliary benefits for children who are disabled. If your child is disabled when he or she turns 18, or your child becomes disabled before turning 22, SSDI dependents’ benefits may be extended for as long as the child is disabled.
To qualify for these benefits after turning 18, however, the child must meet SSA’s adult definition of disabled. Sometimes, adult child benefits start when the child is much older than 18 or 22. This occurs when the parent begins receiving SSA benefits at a later date, making the disabled child eligible.
YOUR CHILD MAY START RECEIVING SSI PAYMENTS IMMEDIATELY
It may take three to five months for the agency to determine whether your child meets the requirements to receive disability benefits. In some cases, however, the SSA will begin making monthly payments to disbabled children right away.
If your child has one of the following conditions, he or she may receive immediate monthly benefits that continue for up to six months while the SSA determines eligibility.
• Birth weight of less than 2 pounds 10 ounces
• Total blindness or total deafness
• Down syndrome
• Cerebral Palsy
• Severe intellectual disability for children over 4
• Muscular dystrophy
• Symptomatic HIV infection
How Children’s Disability Benefits Make a Difference
Children’s disability benefits are modest, but they can truly make a difference in the lives of families. These benefits are often enough to help lift many families out of poverty, help kids get the medical care and special equipment they need and enable disabled children enjoy richer, more fulfilling lives.
More Practice Areas:
Navigating the rules, regulations and confusing terms when claiming Social Security Disability can be difficult. Our nationwide network of attorneys and advocates work with people at all levels of the SSI and SSDI claims processes. Let our team put your mind at ease and help you achieve success.