Getting Social Security Benefits for Your Child With a Disability

by David F. Chermol on May. 14, 2021

Government Social Security 

Summary: Social Security, a federally run assistance program, provides benefits to individuals who have become disabled. According to the Social Security Administration, a disability is a medical condition or an impairment that limits a person’s abilities to perform everyday activities. When a condition is severe, it may hinder the individual’s abilities to work and function. It can be difficult for a person to live and be financially independent in that case. However, there are benefits available for children who become disabled or are born with certain disabilities.

Social Security, a federally run assistance program, provides benefits to individuals who have become disabled. According to the Social Security Administration, a disability is a medical condition or an impairment that limits a person’s abilities to perform everyday activities. When a condition is severe, it may hinder the individual’s abilities to work and function. It can be difficult for a person to live and be financially independent in that case. However, there are benefits available for children who become disabled or are born with certain disabilities.

 

Childhood disabilities can lead to substantial medical expenses and can require extensive care from the child’s family members. One can seek help from the government and apply for Social Security disability benefits if their child is born with certain disabilities. Here are a few things you should know before getting Social Security disability benefits for children.

 

Statistics Related to Social Security Insurance

 

These are some statistics from the official Social Security 2020 report:

 

● A total of 69.1 million received benefits from different programs handled by the SSA in the year 2019.

● In the year 2019, more than 1 million children qualified for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). 

● Disabled children were awarded an average of $670 per payment for SSI benefits.

● About 2.8 million children received Social Security disability benefits based on their parents’ qualifications.

 

These are many people who apply for Social Security programs. The number of applications is quite high, and only a fraction of these claimants get approved for the disability benefits. Social Security is a major source of income and provides their payees financial assistance. The amount of compensation received can be used for the betterment of the child. Without financial assistance from Social Security, the children could be living below the poverty line. The program aims at helping the young population meet their health needs. 

 

Is your child eligible for Social Security benefits?

 

Your child must meet the eligibility criteria to get approved for Social Security benefits. The child seeking benefits must be a dependent and unmarried. The following individuals may be eligible for the Social Security benefits: 

 

● Children younger than age 18

● Adults who are 18 or older and unmarried

● Adults who became disabled before age 18

 

The child with a disability must be able to fulfill the criteria listed below: 

 

● They must experience a physical or mental impairment that causes certain restrictions on their life. The condition should limit their abilities to perform daily tasks and operations.

● The child has been suffering from the condition for the past year and the condition is expected to last even longer, or the child meets criteria for certain listed disorders. 

 

It is essential that you get your child treated by a licensed medical healthcare provider and retain all of the related medical records. The documentation will act as evidence and can help in getting approved for the disability benefits. 

 

Medical eligibility required for child benefits

 

The child must meet the medical listing criteria in order to be eligible for the Social Security benefits for children. The child must undergo all the necessary diagnostic tests. You must go through the documents or ask a legal professional to know about the documents that may be required. The doctor and attorney will have an idea of all the documents that may be necessary to prove the child's eligibility. 

 

If the child meets the criteria set forth in the listing, they will be approved for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The Social Security Administration will provide these benefits to the payees, the guardian of the child. They will be responsible for effectively utilizing the money. The first preference should be given to providing food, shelter, and proper medical attention for the disabled child. The parents of the child can use the majority of the compensation amount for that. If there is any remaining amount after those expenses are satisfied, it may be used for other personal needs and debts. 

 

The Social Security Administration will also consider the income of the parents when determining eligibility. When a child is adopted or living with a step-parent, their income will be considered for evaluation. 

 

Getting SSDI for an Adult Who Became Disabled as a Child

 

Adults who became disabled as children may also be eligible to seek compensation under this program. The eligibility criteria for this are based on the individual’s parents’ work history and earnings. One of the disabled individual’s parents must fulfill either of the criteria below: 

 

● One of the parents of the disabled child must be already receiving disability benefits.

● One of the parents of the disabled child died and had worked enough to be eligible for disability benefits even if they had not claimed them. 

 

The child can only get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits when they meet the above conditions. After the child turns 18, the Social Security Administration will review the disability again. They will consider various aspects and then evaluate the current situation of the child. When the condition is severe, they may continue to receive disability benefits. However, the SSA can also deny the benefits if they think the child no longer meets the eligibility criteria. It can be a daunting task for both the parents and the child. Therefore, one must consider consulting a Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyer for assistance with the whole process. Lawyers are well-versed with the disability laws and can provide valuable guidance.

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