Disabled Children

August 14, 2013

Raising a child with disabilities comes with a lot of added expenses.  Fortunately, families in need may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  Teens and younger kids usually have not worked enough to secure credits for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), but the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the SSI program for disabled children.

SSA has two primary requirements for benefits.  The first is financial.  Since SSI is a needs-based program, the child’s family must demonstrate financial need.  To be eligible for benefits, there are limits to income, assets, and resources of the child and his or her family, which includes a step-parent who lives with the family.

The second set of criteria is medical.  A child must have a qualifying disability that is expected to last 12 months or result in death as defined by the SSA.  SSA will look at the child’s impairments or combination of impairments and the functional restrictions the impairments pose.  In some cases, the SSA will offer benefits right away for certain conditions such as total blindness, total deafness or cerebral palsy.

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