Social Security disability benefits are available to low income individuals and families throughout the country who may qualify for assistance for a number of reasons. Of Social Security Income benefit recipients, a large number are children with physical and mental disabilities, and a growing number of children who receive SSI benefits are qualifying for them because of mental health disabilities. However, the story behind the numbers is more complex than it seems at first blush.
Between 2004 and 2013, the number of children who qualified for and received SSI disability benefits increased by nearly 330,000 individuals, while the total percentage of children throughout the country who receive SSI benefits rose from 1.35 percent to 1.8 percent. But, as the number of children who received the benefits increased over the nearly 10-year span, the number of children who qualified for and received SSI benefits due to the 10 most prevalent mental disorders decreased, from about 55 percent to about 49 percent.
Simply put, the increase in both number and percentage of children who received SSI benefits for mental health disorders was outpaced by the increase in number and percentage of children receiving SSI benefits for all other disorders. Therefore, while SSI benefits have been distributed to more children since 2004, this growth is not disproportionately due to mental health disorders. Overall, the reports indicate that children living in poverty are more likely to suffer from severe mental disorders, which may be made more bearable through SSI benefit support.
The process of qualifying for and receiving SSI benefits is not a simple one, and can stretch on while your child is in need of benefit support to combat the demands of a physical or mental disability. The assistance of an experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive the fairest assistance for your need while protecting the rights and dignity of your child.
Source: Science Daily, “Rise in disability benefits for children with mental disorders consistent with population trends,” accessed July 20, 2016