How Can You Obtain Disability Benefits for a Child?
It is critically important for families with disabled children to understand and gain the benefits needed to cover a lifetime of care. You will find it helpful to speak with a disability benefits attorney in Ohio to ensure your questions are answered and you are able to obtain all the benefits for which your child may qualify.
Depending on the child’s age, there are different benefit programs for disabled children. The two primary benefit programs are:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — Supplemental Security Income is a program available for disabled adults and children. Unlike Social Security Disability, SSI benefits do not depend on the recipient’s having spent time in the American workforce to qualify. This program is most often used by aged, disabled U.S. citizens who need aid with basic living expenses. For a child under 18, you can file for SSI and submit a Child Disability Report.A Child Disability Report is part of your application for benefits for a minor child who is disabled. The report requests information about caregivers, the physical health and contact information for the child, and extensive information concerning medical records, tests, assessments, and contact with outside agencies. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recommends the use of an advocate or Social Security disability lawyer to assist with the preparation of this lengthy and detailed application. The Child Disability Report is a big and vital part of the application for benefits, and care should be taken to respond thoroughly and completely.As with adults, in order to receive SSI, a child must have a mental or physical disability that severely limits their capabilities and that is expected to extend at least a year or more or result in death. An important aspect of the evaluation is consideration of the income and resources available to the parent to care for the disabled child. Before beginning the detailed process of filling out the Child Disability Report, speak with the agency to determine whether your family is eligible for SSI aid.The amount of financial assistance provided by SSI depends on limits determined by the SSA and the amount that your state might provide on top of that sum. For children living in medical care facilities where their care is covered by health insurance, the monthly SSI limit is $30.
After you complete the SSI application during an appointment with the SSA and submit the Child Disability Report and medical, school, and other records, the Social Security Administration sends the information to the state Disability Determination Services unit. During the approximately three to five months it takes to make a decision on disability, payments could be made for certain conditions, including HIV infection with other impairments, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and other conditions.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for adults — For adults disabled since childhood, SSDI benefits are available if one of the parents of the child has died and had a work record that would qualify for Social Security benefits or if one of the parents is already receiving Social Security or disability benefits.
Keep in mind that the application process for these benefits is complex, but don’t let its daunting nature scare you away from seeking the benefits you and your child are entitled to.