A parent will go to any length to ensure that their child’s needs are met and addressed. This is especially true for parents caring for a child who has a physical or mental disability, as their demands are often greater. Lower-income families caring for a disabled child can apply for and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to help them meet financial needs.
How Does Supplemental Security Income Work For Children?
SSI offers monthly payments to assist people who are 65 or older, or blind, or disabled with limited income and resources. If your child is under the age of 18, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may consider them “disabled” if they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (including an emotional or learning problem) that causes marked and severe functional limitations. The eligibility of your child is determined by numerous factors, including:
- The income and resources of the child and family members living in the same home.
- The ailment must restrict the child’s activities – it must be disabling for at least 12 months or be terminal.
How Do I Apply For SSI For My Child?
- Make an appointment to apply in person. To begin the application process, Call 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment (1-800-325-0778 TTY or 1-800-772-1213 TRS). You may also go to the Social Security Office without an appointment. To find a Social Security Office near you, go to the Social Security Office Locator website.
- Prepare the Documents You’ll Need to Apply. Before your SSA meeting, try to locate all of your child’s documentation. You’ll need the child’s birth certificate, social security card, and proof of income and assets, among other paperwork and paperwork. You’ll also have to provide SSA with proof of your income and assets. However, even if you don’t have all of the paperwork, keep your appointment. The Social Security Administration can assist you in obtaining the necessary documents.
- Keep a file of your child’s treatments. Try to keep your records of your child’s course of treatment because a hospital or clinic may lose these treatment records. For example, if your child’s impairment results in emergency room visits or hospitalizations, you should keep track of these visits by saving the hospitalization discharge notes in a file folder.
- Get a receipt from SSA to prove that you filed an SSI application. Request a receipt from the SSA representative at the end of your appointment as confirmation that you filed an SSI application. SSA may misfile an SSI application and be unable to locate it. If you have a receipt proving that you filed an SSI application, the Social Security Administration can reconstruct the application using the receipt’s date as the application date. Your child will not lose any SSI benefits if you do this.
How the SSA Determines if Your Child’s Application is Approved
The SSA sends your child’s case to the Disability Determination Services office after receiving it from you. Staff and doctors will assess your child’s situation and seek school and medical data. If the office cannot make a determination, it may recommend that you take your child to a Social Security-funded medical evaluation. It can take up to five months for a decision to be made. They will send you a letter if your child is refused.
If SSA Denies Your Child’s SSI Application, Consider Appealing.
According to SSA figures, a majority of initial applications for SSI are refused. However, according to SSA records, the majority of challenged petitions are eventually granted. You will be notified in writing if your application is denied. You must file a Request for Reconsideration within 60 days after the date of the denial notice if you want to appeal it. You can do so either online at ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213.
Having an experienced attorney assist you in preparing your child’s appeal can make the difference between receiving the benefits they need and not. A North Carolina Social Security disability lawyer will be able to start an appeal process for you right away, allowing you to get the aid you need.
Contact Our Trusted Disability Attorneys of North Carolina Today
At Henson Fuerst, we are committed to assisting parents in obtaining the disability benefits their children require. Disabled children have legitimate needs that can put a financial load on their families. SSI funds play a critical role in a family’s ability to satisfy the requirements of a disabled child.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact a child disability lawyer at Henson Fuerst by calling us today at (919) 781-1107 or completing a contact form for a free case evaluation.