It is devastating enough to hear your child has a disability, whether permanent or one that will make life challenging for him for an extended period. There is so much to consider and take care of to ensure the security and safety of your child’s well-being. One of the biggest concerns for most parents of a physically challenged child is how they will be able to handle all the medical bills that can mount so quickly.
Social Security benefits aren’t just for adults with disabilities. Many parents don’t realize that there are social security benefits for children under the age of 18, too. Social security can be a lifesaver to help cover many of the expenses involved with raising a physically challenged child as well as offer medical services. Depending on the circumstances, these benefits may be carried forward beyond your child’s eighteenth birthday.
Who is Social Security For?
Social security is financial aid for adults and children living with either a temporary or permanent disability that severely affects your ability to function or work and living on limited income. For children, your family’s total household income must fall in the bracket of low income and your child must meet the medically disabled qualifications.
Once the determination has been made for financial requirements, it can take from 3 to 5 months to begin receiving SS payments. However, certain medical conditions render immediate payout. Some of the medical conditions that qualify for immediate SS payouts include:
Severe intellectual disability for the age of 7 years and older
Low birth weight – under 2 pounds 10 ounces
Other medical conditions can apply to an immediate monthly SS disability payout. Your local SS office or agent can give you a complete list of the conditions that would qualify your child for a faster SS disability determination and compensation.
One thing that may worry some parents is that if SS originally determines your child falls in the guidelines for immediate payouts, but later it’s determined your child does not qualify for SS at all, you are not required to pay SS back.
Social Security has strict guidelines for qualifying for disability. SS benefits are not always easy to get and will require particular proofs of information. Some of the information that you will be necessary to submit to the Social Security office when applying are:
Income and Resources Verification – Both parents and child, if he is or has worked, will need to submit proof of all income and financial resources. If the child lives at home, he is under the care of the parents or custodian and the combined financial resources will be considered.
Proof of disability – Copies of medical records will be requested from your doctors. You won’t have to obtain them, but your cooperation in getting them will be needed. If medical records don’t complete the decision, SS may request individual files and documentation from others; such as school records, documentation from family members and close friends regarding the child’s functionality, rehab facilities and caretakers’ documentation.
Dates and records of visits – Showing dates of doctors appointments, rehabilitation appointments, therapy sessions or anything having to do with your child’s care is important. Be as accurate as possible.
Your description of the disability in your words – Your personal story of your child’s handicap is necessary. Describing his life and challenges day-to-day is beneficial to the SS office on how severe the case is.
How Much Disability Will Your Child Receive?
The amount of your child’s SS payment depends on the state in which you reside and the amount of income your household receives. When your child turns 18 it doesn’t mean he will lose his benefits; he will now have to re-apply as an adult, and adult qualifying factors will now determine whether he will continue to receive benefits.
Typically a review of your child’s condition is conducted about every three years to see if there have been any changes, including if your baby is still considered permanently physically challenged, or disabled to a lesser degree.
Social Security disability benefits for children Qualification