Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children with Disabilities
Suffering from a disability can have significant effects on a person's quality of life, and if that person is a child, those effects can be even more devastating. Imagine never being able to have a normal childhood; never learning how to ride a bike; never being able to feel independence by walking to school for the first time; never being able to participate in sports or even play hide and seek; or even never being able to read or write. For a parent to see their child, whether an infant, toddler, or even a teenager, go through such hardships, is almost too much to bear. Additionally, children with disabilities require ongoing medical treatment and/or care as well as oftentimes needed special equipment and living accommodations.
Such services are not cheap and can place financial burdens on top of an already emotionally difficult situation. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial assistance to eligible children with disabilities under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Qualifying for SSI Benefits
In order to obtain SSI benefits for a disabled child, you much apply for SSI benefits, as well as complete a Child Disability Report. Children 18-years-old or younger may be eligible for SSI benefits if they are disabled and have little to no income and resources. SSA also considers the family's household income, resources, and other pertinent personal information. These qualifying requirements have very specific definitions, however.
For a child to be considered disabled under SSA rules, the child must have a mental or physical condition, or conditions, that seriously limit his or her activities and the condition(s) must have lasted or are expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
Paperwork and Interview
Even if your child qualifies as disabled as defined by SSA, you will still need to provide detailed information concerning your child's condition and family resources. This involves completing all the necessary forms, as well as getting relevant information from your child's doctors and their school. All this information must be brought to the SSI interview concerning your child's application for benefits. SSA provides checklists and worksheets to ensure that you gather all the necessary information and documents.
If you do not have all required documents or do not provide all required information, your child's SSI claim may be denied, in which case you would have to appeal the decision. It is important to get it right the first time so that your child gets the benefits they deserve.
Helping Your Child Obtain SSI Benefits
Applying for SSI benefits for your disabled child is not a fast and easy process. It is complicated and requires a lot of paperwork and strong attention to detail. Even if you fulfill all the requirements, you may not hear back about the status of your claim for five months. That is a lot of waiting for benefits your child needs right now.
The dedicated San Diego child injury attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group know the SSI application process inside and out and can not only help make sure you obtain all the information and evidence necessary for a complete application, but can also help you file an appeal with SSA should your claim be denied. We can help your child get the benefits they deserve. To discuss your particular situation with one of our lawyers, call us for a consultation today at (888) 233-5020.
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