To get disability for your child, you’ll need to prove that your family and your child meet the Social Security Administration’s requirements for eligibility. You’ll also need to sign a form that gives your doctor permission to share information about your child’s disability with Social Security. You will also need to fill out Social Security’s Child Disability Report.
If you’re wondering if your child is eligible, you are far from alone. According to this Missouri Cerebral Palsy Lawyer article, disabled children may require a lifetime of costly treatments and adaptation to your car and vehicle. You may also have to pay for in-home care. It’s no wonder so many families are looking into SSI benefits. Keep reading to learn more about the process.
How to Apply for SSI Benefits for Your Child
Let’s go over some specifics about what you’ll need to do during the application process. Understanding what to expect will make you better prepared for approval without delays.
What Happens During a Child Disability Interview
You will be interviewed by a claims representative at a Social Security office. This interview will take approximately one hour. The rep will ask you questions about your income, any income your child may have, and your child’s disability. They’ll also ask you about your marital status, the income of anyone else in the home, and how many other children are in the home.
Information about the other members of your household is a critical part of determining the amount of the benefits your child may stand to receive. This is calculated through a process called “deeming.” Social Security assumes a portion of your income and the income of any other member of the household, including stepparents, is “deemed” for your child.
Your income is determined by adding up the total income and investments of your family and subtracting the amount that is deemed for each child.
What You’ll Need to Bring to Your Appointment
One thing you don’t need to bring to your appointment is your child. In some cases, it simply isn’t convenient and may not even be possible. However, bringing the following items to your interview appointment can make the process go smoothly:
- Your child’s birth certificate and proof of citizenship where applicable
- The Social Security numbers of all household members
- Proof of income for all household members
- Your bank statements and proof of any stocks or investments
- A complete report of your child’s medical record, including all information about the medical treatment your child has received during the last year
- Documentation of any medications your child is taking
- Your child’s medical assistance number, if they have one
- The contact information for any schools your child has attended over the past year, including the names of any special needs providers they’ve seen
- Your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) information, if they have an IEP
- Contact information for any programs or caseworkers your child has been involved with
- Contact information for any other caretakers your child has
- Contact information for your child’s employers, if they’ve had any
Expect the approval process to take three to five months. Your child may qualify for payments during this process if they have a presumptive disability, which is a condition the SSA “presumes” your child will qualify.
Don’t Forget to Apply for Medicaid
In most cases, a child who qualifies for SSI benefits will also qualify for Medicaid. You can get more information about how to apply for Medicaid at the Social Security office. Medicaid may cover many of the services your child needs, from physical, occupational, and speech therapy to dental and vision care.
If your child has medical needs that aren’t on the list of approved treatments Medicaid will cover, they may be covered via a Medicaid waiver.
For qualifying families, the combination of SSI benefits and Medicaid will be the lifesaver you desperately need someone to throw to you when you’re drowning in debt due to your child’s condition. Even if you aren’t sure you’ll qualify, it’s worth giving it a shot. If you’re denied but you believe your family or child should have qualified, you may want to consider consulting with a lawyer.