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Is My Child Eligible For Social Security Disability?

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  • Children are the future of the world.  Every child deserves a healthy and happy childhood. Sometimes 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.  They may experience difficulty navigating their daily lives and it can be difficult for parents to manage a child with special needs with the demands of a full time job.  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 work or perform 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.

    Age Requirements for Child Disability Benefits

    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 a student 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.

    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 establish entitlement to 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 (SS) benefit is based on financial need.  To qualify, one should have a diminished income and other resources.  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 blind or disabled, then the application will be approved for benefits. The payment is distributed to the parent or other legal guardian of the child.   When the child attains the age of 18, the SSA will evaluate impairments based on the definition of disability for adults.

    The Social Security Process

    Getting Social Security benefits can be tricky.  The time it takes for SSA to decide a benefits application varies. The time may vary from case to case and individual to individual, depending on the amount of evidence provided with the application and the complexity of the case.  Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria may be approved benefits quicker by submitting a complete application at the outset.  On the other hand, individuals who lack sufficient evidence may have to wait for a longer time.

    At times, applicants also make mistakes when completing and filing the application, which affects their claim. In child disability claims, the Social Security Administration typically takes less time to evaluate and make decisions.  The SSA can take approximately three to five months to review the documents and decide the application under normal processing.

    The SSA also employs Compassionate Allowances (CAL) as a means of  quickly identifying medical conditions that meet SSA standards for disability benefits. Medical conditions falling under the CAL are primarily cancers, brain conditions, and rare disorders that affect children.  The CAL initiative helps improve waiting times for children and families in need of a disability decision quickly due to more serious disabilities.

    Social Security Disability Insurance for Adult Children

    SSDI benefits are higher than SSI. In certain exceptional cases, the child may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits based on their parent’s work record.  The disability must have occurred before the age of 22 to qualify for SSDI benefits.  The SSA will grant SSDI benefits based on whether either paid into and earned sufficient work credits.  If a parent has died while in receipt of disability benefits or was eligible for benefits, a child may receive disability benefits based on their record.

    Getting Help From an Attorney 

    The process of getting Social Security benefits is complicated, and it is helpful to consult an attorney.  Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney Fort Myers residents have relied on for years to assist them through the SSA’s complicated process. They will ensure that your child’s application demonstrates that they meet eligibility criteria and that the application is submitted free from error.  If there are any special diagnostic tests or evidence required, they will inform you.  Get helpful guidance from a knowledgeable disability benefits lawyer today.

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Berke Law Firm, P.A.
Berke Law Firm, P.A.

Mr. Bill Berke handles workers’ compensation, social security disability, defective drug/device litigation, junk fax litigation.

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