For children who suffer from disabilities of many kinds, Supplemental Security Income can be a life-saving safety provision. While SSI has it’s share of supporters and detractors, for those who find themselves in the unfortunate position of needing assistance to help care for a disabled child, it is a vital component of day-to-day life.
For those who qualify, SSI is program which provides financial assistance to children, based upon several income eligibility factors. Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance, SSI is funded through federal revenues and often supplemented at the state level. Children who receive SSI benefits must be unmarried and 18 years old or younger (or possibly 19 years old, if still in high school). The disabilities which qualify a child to receive SSI benefits are defined differently than the qualifying disabilities for adults.
Throughout the country, roughly two thirds of all U.S. states provide some Medicaid eligibility in conjunction with SSI eligibility. In most of the states that do offer this joint eligibility, the application to receive both Medicaid and SSI benefits is the same application. For those who do qualify for Medicaid and SSI benefits, the eligibility begins in the same month for both, once the application has been processed and approved. There are, however, a small number of states which require separate applications for Medicaid and SSI, and even some who have their own proprietary qualifying guidelines.
For any child and parent of a child suffering from a disability, SSI benefits can be an enormous help as they navigate the complications of living with extra constraints and needs. An experienced legal professional can help guide you through the process of applying for many kinds of assistance to assure that the child in need is given the best available care.
Source: aappublications.org, “Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children and Youth With Disabilities,” accessed July 05, 2016