In our last blog post we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Supplemental Security Income program by discussing some general basics about the program. In this blog post, we look at how the SSI program benefits children with disabilities.
Parents of a child with a disability face many challenges. Oftentimes one parent is forced to stay home to provide the care and support necessary for a child with disabilities. This puts added strain on a family's economic standing as medical bills related to trips to specialists, doctors and physical therapy mount.
Parents of disabled children who qualify for SSI benefits are afforded financial assistance to help defray many of the expenses associated with raising a disabled child. For single parents or families who are struggling to make ends meet, monthly income provided through SSI benefits helps cover basic needs including food, shelter and clothing.
SSI benefits allow parents to provide the special therapy and home modifications necessary to allow them to continue to care for their child at home. Doing so allows a disabled child to remain a core member of their family and helps increase the likelihood that they will become an independent and production member of society.
Despite the fact that there are millions of children living with disabilities throughout the United States, only roughly 25 percent receive SSI benefits. Eligibility requirements are strict and the benefits application process can be confusing. For these reasons, parents of disabled children who plan to apply for SSI benefits would be wise to seek the advice and assistance of a skilled attorney.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Happy Birthday, SSI: A Safety Net for Vulnerable Americans," Donna Meltzer, Oct. 30, 2012