Some children have disabilities from the time of birth while others might develop them at a young age. Parents of disabled children often face significant financial challenges when trying to support their child’s special needs. The income they earn may not be enough to pay for daily care, special equipment, or ongoing medical treatment over the long term. Those who find themselves in this situation may want to apply for Disability Benefits For Children.
How can children collect disability benefits?
Certain rules and regulations govern whether a child can be qualified to receive disability benefits or not. Children can get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability for children and if they have little or no income and resources. SSA also considers the family’s household income, resources and other personal information when determining eligibility to benefits.
Children from low-income homes whose families experience financial hardship due to raising a disabled child may be able to collect SSI until the child reaches the age of 18. After that, they may be eligible for SSI benefits as an adult. Children approved to receive benefits can also get Medicaid. Medicaid is a health care program for people with low incomes and limited resources. Even if your child cannot get SSI, he or she may be able to get Medicaid. A disability attorney can give you more information.
Alternatively, The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays benefits to adults whose disability began before 22 years old. The SSA considers this a “child’s” benefit because entitlement is based on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. For a disabled adult to become entitled to this benefit, one of his or her parents must:
- Be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
- Have died with enough work credits to qualify for Social Security benefits.
Children who received benefits as a minor on a parent’s Social Security record may be eligible to continue receiving benefits on that parent’s record upon reaching age 18 if they continue to meet the definition of disabled. Disability is determined using the same rules that are applied to all adults. The SSDI disabled adult “child” benefits continue as long as there is a demonstrated disability. Marriage may affect eligibility for this benefit, but the important thing to know is that your child does not need to have a qualifying work history to be eligible for these benefits.
Summary criteria for child disability qualification
- The disability that the child has should be recognized by the SSA.
- The child’s family should have little income or resources.
- After turning 18 years of age, the disabled child has to qualify for the benefit as an adult to continue receiving benefits.
- Once the child reaches the age of 18, SSA does not count the income and resources of family members, except for a spouse, when deciding whether an adult meets the financial threshold for eligibility.
- If the adult still remains dependent on parental care (receiving food and shelter), the SSA may reduce the amount of disability payment.
Some children can claim benefits whether disabled or not
Children may be eligible for disability benefits when their parent, adoptive parent, or step parent were receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits prior to passing away. The child is eligible to collect benefits provided they can show a lawful parental relationship. These children are considered to be receiving auxiliary or dependent benefits. There are cases when grandchildren or step-grandchildren may be considered eligible for dependent benefits if they no longer live with their parents and the parental relationship has been legally severed.
There are other criteria for receiving these benefits:
To be eligible for benefits, the child must:
- Be unmarried.
- Be under age 18; or
- Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
- Be 18 or older and disabled from a disability that started before age 22.
Benefits typically end when a child reaches the age of 18 unless they are disabled. If the child is a full-time student at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever occurs first.
Disability Lawyers In Orlando are specialists who help individuals with disabilities or their family members protect themselves from discrimination or harassment. They also counsel people with disabilities on their legal rights and help them understand how to apply for these rights.