Legal Term

Is My Child Eligible For Social Security Disability?

Children are the future of the world, and every child deserves a healthy and happy childhood. Sometimes, however, children are born with physical and mental impairments that can affect the quality of their lives.  The early years of childhood play a significant role in the development of a child. Children who are born with disabilities often face hardships during these early years that impact the child into adulthood.

The child may experience difficulty navigating their daily lives and it can be difficult for parents to manage a child with special needs, especially when coupled with the demands of a full time job.  Fortunately, disability benefits are available to Americans who suffer from disabilities. More than 69 million Americans received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in the year 2019.

Every year, millions of new people are awarded disability benefits.  If your child has a disability that affects their ability to perform the normal activities of daily living, they may be eligible for disability benefits.  It is helpful to know what the eligibility requirements are and to understand the process before applying.  Continue reading to learn more about whether your child meets the eligibility criteria for Social Security Benefits For Children.

Eligibility Criteria for Disabled Children

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will decide entitlement to disability benefits based on the eligibility criteria.  Here is what you should know about the eligibility criteria before applying for disability benefits.

1. Age Requirements

Children below the age of 18 may be eligible for Social Security benefits. There is no minimum age requirement, meaning that a child may be eligible for Social Security benefits as early as birth.  A child may also be eligible for benefits if they are under age 22 and are still attending school.  The child must be unmarried and cannot have filed federal income taxes as head of household.  To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, a child must be either blind or disabled, as determined by the SSA.

2. Other Essential Requirements

The Social Security Administration will evaluate the disability based on the evidence. A child with a visual impairment may be eligible for Social Security benefits based on blindness.

Therefore, it is critical to document all medical evidence that demonstrates your child’s condition.  If you do not have sufficient proof, your child may not be able to establish eligibility for benefits. The SSA might deny the application, and you will have to obtain more evidence to reapply or appeal the decision.

How SSA Determines Child Benefits

As mentioned above, your child may be eligible for benefits until the age of 18, or until the age of 22 if they are enrolled in school.  The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit is based on financial need.  To qualify, one should have evidence of income and resources lower than the threshold.  The family’s resources and assets will be evaluated to determine whether they fall under the threshold for SSA’s financial need determination.

The SSA will evaluate the evidence and medical documentation provided with your application.  If the documentation demonstrates that your child meets the criteria for blindness or disability, then the application for benefits will be approved.

The payment is distributed to the parent or other legal guardian of the child and the receiving adult will use it for the benefit of the child.   When the child attains the age of 18, the SSA will re-evaluate impairments based on the definition of disability for adults.

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