Some people may not be aware that children can also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they suffer from an impairment that significantly impacts their functioning.
Our experienced Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers can assess your child's case and determine if he or she may qualify for benefits. If he or she does qualify for benefits, we can help build the claim and obtain the benefits he or she needs. We have decades of experience helping disabled clients and their families obtain these much-needed benefits.
SSI Requirements for Children
The SSA has several requirements that must be met in order for a child to receive SSI benefits, including:
For a child to be eligible for SSI, he or she must be under the age of 18 and not married or the head of the household. The only exception to this age requirement is for children under the age of 22 who are students regularly attending school.
There is no minimum age requirement to qualify for SSI benefits. In some situations, the child is eligible on the date of his or her birth.
Because SSI is a needs-based program available for financially needy individuals, the SSA will consider the child's income and resources when determining if the child is eligible for SSI.
However, because most children likely do not have their own income, the SSA will consider the parents' income and resources for children who live at home or are dependent on their parents while at school. It may also consider the resources of a stepparent or adoptive parent if he or she lives with the child.
The SSA considers the income from a parent that is available to a child as deemed income. It will deduct income for parents and other children living at home to determine the income and resources that are available to the child. If this number meets the SSA's income and resource requirements, he or she should be financially eligible for the monthly benefit.
A child must also meet specific medical requirements. To be considered disabled by the SSA, the child must:
- Not be working or earning more than $1170 a month in 2017
- Have a physical or mental condition that severely limits the child's activities
- Have a disabling condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
Proving these things requires significant medical documentation of the child's condition and the effect it has on his or her life.
If the child's condition is listed in the SSA's Blue Book of Impairment Listings and meets the requirements listed, he or she should medically qualify for benefits.
However, if the condition is not listed or his or her condition does not meet the listed requirements, he or she may still be able to obtain benefits if it can be shown that he or she functionally equals one of the listings.
This requires providing medical evidence of marked impairment (serious interference with the child's ability to function) in two of the six categories listed below or extreme impairment (very severe interference with the child's ability to function) in one category:
- Gaining and utilizing information
- Attending to and completing tasks
- Interacting and relating to others
- Mobilizing and manipulating items
- Health and physical well-being
Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Help with Your Child's SSI Claim
Filing a claim for SSI for children is a complex process. It requires providing the necessary proof that your child suffers from a disability and meets all of the criteria.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you complete an application and supplement it with the necessary medical evidence to establish the claim. He or she can also help guide you through the appeals process if the claim is denied.
If you need assistance with your SSI claim, contact an experienced Social Security lawyer at Dayes Law Firm PC. We can help gather and assemble information to help strengthen your child's claim to potentially improve the odds that you will be approved for benefits.
For a free consultation, call 1-800-503-2000.