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Can a youth set for release from foster care apply early for SSI?

When a disabled youth is in foster care in Oklahoma and is approaching the time when they will be released from the foster care system, they may be concerned about receiving Supplemental Security Income when they reach legal adulthood. To prevent a gap between the release from foster care and the beginning of SSI benefits, it is important to apply for the benefits before the anticipated release from foster care. Understanding the details of how to handle this issue is key.

If a disabled or blind youth is nearing the age of 18, it is generally not possible to gain eligibility for SSI before the foster care payments have ceased. With foster care ceasing at age 18, the Social Security Administration will allow a youth to apply for SSI-related benefits up to 180 days prior to foster care eligibility ending.

There are certain requirements that a child in foster care must meet when filing for SSI. They include: living in foster care; claiming to be disabled or blind; appearing likely to meet the non-medical requirements for SSI when the foster care payments stop; expecting the foster care payments to stop within 90 days of the date of application; and the loss of foster care eligibility within 90 days because of age.

Since SSI is so vital for people who are blind or disabled to make ends meet, it can be a concern for a child in foster care and their foster family. Children in foster care have the right to apply for SSI before they are released from the program. To take steps to apply before that time, a legal professional who is experienced in SSI Supplemental Security Income can provide assistance and advice.

Source: ssa.gov, “Spotlight On SSI Benefits For Disabled Or Blind Youth In Foster Care – 2017 Edition,” accessed on Jan. 8, 2018

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