If your child is disabled you may be able to obtain disability benefits for him or her through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The process for filing for SSI benefits for a child differs slightly from the process for adults. Read on for more information and seek assistance from an attorney to get help with the application or appeals process.
Requirements to Qualify a Child for SSI Benefits
The SSA follows strict guidelines for determination of disability in children. According to the SSA, in order to qualify for SSI benefits, the child must meet the following minimum criteria.
Your child may meet the criteria for his or her condition as listed in the Childhood Listing of Impairments. The child may also have a physical or mental condition(s) that limits his or her ability to engage in normal activities. The condition(s) must have lasted, or is expected to last, at least a year or is expected to result in death.
Further, the child must meet income and resource requirements. SSI is needs-based, so only children whose families have limited income and limited resources may qualify. For 2014, the income limit is $721 per month for an individual (lives with one parent) or $1,082 for a couple (lives with both parents).
The resources limit is $2,000 for a single parent or $3,000 if the child lives with both parents. The child’s own income and resources will be included in the calculation, if applicable.
How to Apply for SSI Benefits for Your Child
The process for applying for disability benefits begins with the completion of both the SSA Application for SSI and the Child Disability Report. The Child Disability Report offers the opportunity to provide specific information about your child’s medical history, physical condition and limitations.
The Application for SSI is not available online at this time and must be completed in person at your local SSA office or by calling the SSA for help over the phone. The Child Disability Report is available online and can be completed at the SSA website. An attorney can help with both of these requirements, as proper completion of all forms is necessary to recover benefits.
Information You Will Need to Apply for SSI Benefits for Your Child
To streamline the application process, it will be helpful if you gather all required information prior to calling or visiting SSA or attempting to complete the Child Disability Form online. The following items are requirements for completion of the application process.
- medical contacts.
- medical records.
- medical assistance.
- school information.
- social service programs.
- caregiver information.
- birth certificate.
- family information.
- and, proof of income and assets.
If you require assistance gathering these and other documents or have questions about the documentation you’ll need to apply, seek consultation with an attorney.
What’s next to recover SSI benefits for my child?
The process of obtaining necessary SSI benefits for your child can be long and frustrating. Seek help from an attorney who is familiar with Social Security disability cases, particularly those involving children. Your attorney can be helpful not only in the initial application process, but also if you are in a dispute over benefits or if the SSA denies your child’s SSI application and you must go through the appeals process.
Rob Levine & Associates can assist disabled residents and children of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts obtain access to the benefits they deserve. Call us today at 866-LAW-SSDI to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.