If you have a disabled child, it is very likely that you will need some kind of financial support to pay for your child’s medical expenses and care.
Depending on your particular circumstances, you may want to consider applying to the Social Security Agency (“SSA”) for disability benefits for your child.
Here is some basic information about the types of disability benefits that are available to disabled children.
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).
Most disabled children under the age of 18 qualify for disability benefits under the SSA’s Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) disability benefits program.
The SSI program is a needs-based program. That means that there is a financial aspect to qualifying for benefits.
For children, the SSA will look at the family’s income to determine whether the child qualifies for the program or not.
Once the income level criteria is met, the child must also meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled.” Just as it does for adults, the SSA has a very strict definition of what constitutes a “disability” for children. To be considered “disabled,” a child must:
- have a physical or mental condition(s) that very seriously limits his or her activities; and
- the condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death.
The SSI program also has an age-related component to it. With limited exceptions, the child applying for disability benefits under the SSI program must be under the age of 18. Once the disabled child reaches 18, the SSA reevaluates his/her condition under the adult listings standards.
Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”).
Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits are also available for disabled children, although this is far less prevalent an option than is SSI for children.
Disabled children who are over the age of 18 but who have no work history of their own can qualify for SSDI benefits under the “Disabled Adult Child’s Benefit” (also known as “DAC”). A child who is over 18 and disabled might qualify under the DAC program if:
- He/she became disabled before the age of 22,
- and his parents worked and paid Social Security taxes.
DAC benefits are determined using the work record of the applicant’s parents—not the applicant himself. By using the parents’ work record, an earnings history can be established thus giving the “adult child” the opportunity to qualify for benefits.
Another way children can get disability benefits is through their parents if one or more of their parents are receiving SSDI disability benefits —not Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). In such cases, the child may qualify for auxiliary benefits.
Because this is a complex and complicated area of law, you should consult with experienced disability counsel to learn more.
Considering Disability Benefits? Call Us.
If you or your child need social security disability benefits, call us. We are experienced disability counsel with offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve a number of the surrounding parishes and New Orleans. We offer free consultations and we don’t get paid unless you win your case. Call us at F:P:Sub:Phone ToDay to schedule your free consultation or contact us here.