SSI for children
Only one of the Social Security Disability programs addresses disability for children, and that is the Supplemental Security disability program, or SSI program as it is more commonly referred to.
How does a child qualify to receive SSI disability benefits? Remember Supplemental Security Income is a need-based program, so the parents of the disabled child must meet the income and resource limits established by the Social Security Administration.
Once it has been established that the family meets the income and resource rules of SSI, the child must meet the medical disability criteria of the SSI disability program.
How does the Social Security Administration establish the child's medical entitlement to SSI benefits? Social Security will set up a disability interview with a parent or guardian, so that information about the child's medical history can be obtained.
You (parent or guardian) should be prepared to provide functional information about your child, as well as the names, telephone numbers, and address of the child's treating physicians, clinics, hospitals, and dates of treatment.
The Social Security office will send your child's claim to the state disability-processing agency for processing. If the state disability agency is able to acquire enough current information from the sources you provided, they will make a disability determination.
However, if the available medical information is not enough to make a decision, your child will have to attend a consultative examination with a physician provided by Social Security.
If the state disability agency finds your child to be disabled, your local Social Security office will contact you to make an appointment to review your income and resources. This is to make sure that you (parents or guardian) still meet the income and resource limits. Of course if you will meet all the income and resource criteria for the SSI program, your child will be entitled to receive a disability benefit.
Will my children get benefits if I get disability?
How to apply for disability benefits for children
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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