A Dunn Social Security attorney knows that navigating the Social Security system can be complicated. It can become especially stressful when parents are trying to obtain benefits for a disabled child. By understanding the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) qualifications for children, you can better prepare for the process of applying.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 4.4 million children receive about 2.5 billion dollars every month because a parent (or both) is deceased, retired or disabled. However, SSA also provides monthly benefits to children who are disabled when his or her parents have limited income and resources.
SSI Qualifications for Children
In order to qualify, your child must be younger than 18. Or, if your child regularly attends school, he or she may qualify if younger than 22.
The definition of disability for a child is that a mental or physical condition must result in serious limitations. The condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months, or have an expectancy to result in the child’s death.
Certain conditions fall under SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program. These are severe medical conditions that obviously meet the definition of disability and allow for quicker approval.
There is no minimum age requirement, so if your child was born with a disability, benefits could start at that time. However, once the child turns 18, he or she will need to be re-evaluated in order to continue receiving SSI. This will be based on the definition of disability for adults.
In addition to these SSI qualifications, the children’s parents must have limited income and resources. When looking at income, it is based on more than just the wages earned. Certain types of benefits being received, food or shelter that is free of charge and other sources of money may be factored in.
If it is found that the parent’s income is more than the allowable limit, the child will not qualify for SSI. However, even if the income meets the allowable limit, the benefit amount will be reflective of income. So the less income, the higher the benefit and vice versa.
Resources are another qualification that must be considered, they can include things such as:
- life insurance;
- bank accounts; and
The value of a parent’s resources also will help in determining whether or not a child qualifies for SSI.
Keep in mind that there are some payments and services not counted as income and resources. To better understand what may or may not count and to learn if SSI qualifications apply to your children, you may wish to speak with a Dunn attorney.
Documentation Necessary When Applying for SSI
SSA will schedule an appointment after receiving your application. When you receive a letter indicating when that is, you may be asked to provide specific information.
The following are some of the types of documentation that will be necessary when applying for SSI for your child:
- IEP or IFSP;
- proof of current income;
- proof of resources;
- medical information (contact information of those who have treated your child, medical records, listing of medications); and
- contact information of schools attended in past 12 months and names of teachers, therapists or others who have worked with or treated your child.
Contacting a Dunn Social Security Attorney
The process of assembling documentation, completing paperwork and submitting it can feel overwhelming. By securing legal representation, you may be able to avoid delays or denials and further learn about SSI qualifications for children.
Whether you are filing your initial application for SSI benefits or your claim has been denied and you are appealing that decision, contact an attorney at Brent Adams & Associates for help. Our law firm offers a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Call today -- 1-800-849-5931 or 1-910-892-8177.