Raising a child with a disability takes lots of love and patience beyond measure. Most parents have those assets in abundance. What they may not have are the financial resources necessary to provide the extra medical care, special training, and activities that will enrich their child’s life. Families who need financial assistance in order to help their disabled child live his or her best life should consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Seelig Law Offices helps parents in Manhattan apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on behalf of their disabled children.
What Are SSI Benefits?
SSI provides monthly cash payments to help meet the basic needs of children under the age of 18 who have a physical or mental disability, or who are blind. This money is separate from, and in addition to any money the government provides through Medicaid, a State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), or agencies that provide special services for disabled children.
Children can get SSI if they meet Social Security’s definition of disabled for children and the family meets certain income requirements.
What Counts As A Disability?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a child disabled if the child has a physical or mental impairment (or combination of impairments):
- That causes marked and severe functional limitations;
- And has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months, or to result in death.
In New York, the Division of Disability Determinations (DDD) in the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) determines if the child is disabled, and shares their decision with the SSA. They do this by reviewing information you provide them, and speaking with medical and school sources and other people who know your child. If they need more information, they will arrange an examination or test for your child. The SSA pays for any extra testing that is required.
Working with an experienced disability benefits attorney like those at the Seelig Law Group can help ensure the information you provide on your initial application is complete, and gives your child the best chance of getting the financial support he or she needs without jumping through extra hoops.
What Are The SSI Income Limits?
The Social Security Administration has a complicated formula for determining if a family makes too much money for their disabled child to qualify for SSI benefits. The process of determining how much of a family’s income and resources the SSA will count as assets the disabled child has access to is called “deeming.”
There are so many rules and exceptions that apply to the deeming process that there is really no way to read a blog post on the internet and figure out if your child is going to meet the income limits. However, the Seelig Law team would be happy to discuss your specific financial situation with you.
Don’t Hesitate To Seek SSI For Your Disabled Child
Although the process of applying for SSI benefits on behalf of your disabled child may seem daunting, it is worth the hassle. SSI can provide your child with the extra resources he or she needs to live his or her best life.
It can take several months for the SSA to determine if your child is eligible for SSI benefits. So, the sooner you apply, the better.
If you would like assistance with your SSI application, or want to appeal a denial of benefits, the Seelig Law Group may be able to help. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.