Are you looking to obtain Social Security benefits for a disabled child who is younger than 18? He or she may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. You will need to submit an application for benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provide it with the requested documentation.
Two-thirds of disability applications initially are denied, often because the applicant made mistakes or omissions on the forms or didn’t provide adequate proof of the child’s disability. You can prevent mishaps in the application process by having a legal professional assist you. For a lawyer in Winston-Salem who specifically handles SSI cases for children, contact Patton Brown Law.
SSI Eligibility Requirements for Children
To qualify for SSI, there are physical/emotional disability qualifications and financial requirements. In order for your child to be eligible for SSI, the following three factors must be true.
- Your child must not earn more than $1,090/month. This figure changes slightly each year; you can ask your lawyer for the current figure. Also, because SSI is a need-based program, income and resources of the family members living with the child also are taken into consideration.
- Your child must have “a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in marked and severe functional limitations.”
- Your child’s condition must be expected to be disabling for at least 12 months or expected to be fatal.
How to Apply for Benefits
You can apply for SSI for your child on the SSA’s website, or you can call 1-800-772-1213 to apply over the phone. You will need to complete an Application for SSI, as well as a Child Disability Report. The latter asks for detailed information about your child and requests your permission for the SSA to speak with your child’s doctor about his/her condition. You also can utilize the Medical and School Worksheet – Child worksheet, which gives you info about how to prepare for the disability interview.
After you complete the application process, the SSA will make a technical determination, complete the file and transfer your case to the Disability Determination Services.
You will need to provide substantial and compelling proof that your child is truly disabled and has severe functional limitations. This is not always easy to accomplish, particularly if your child’s condition is mental or behavioral in nature. For assistance substantiating your child’s need for benefits, you can contact Patton Brown Law at 855-860-2150 and speak with one of our disability lawyers. The consultation is free.