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Does my child qualify for Supplemental Security Income?

When most people think of disability benefits, they often think about qualifying for them as adults. One of the eligibility criteria for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is that a person must hold a job long enough to make the necessary paycheck contributions to qualify for such benefits.

There isn’t the same eligibility criteria for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. It’s a needs-based program. Applicants must have both limited financial means and a qualifying disability to be eligible for SSI. Therefore, children may be able to qualify for such benefits.

What eligibility requirements must kids meet to receive Supplemental Security Income?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) generally classifies anyone younger than 18 as a child when assessing their eligibility for SSI benefits. They may consider someone as old as 21 who regularly attends school to be a child as well, though. In either case, the potential applicant for SSI benefits generally must be unmarried and not the head of their household.

Age isn’t the only factor that determines whether a child will qualify for SSI. They must also have a documented disability or be blind. There’s no minimum age requirement for receiving SSI benefits. Children may start drawing them from the time of their birth.

What types of disabilities qualify a child to receive SSI?

Any minor who suffers from functional limitations related to a mental or physical impairment may qualify. They must produce evidence showing that doctors expect their condition to last 12 months or more or that it’s terminal. A blind child also qualifies for SSI.

How long do kids’ disability benefits last?

Children are generally eligible to receive SSI benefits up until age 18. A reviewer will reassess a recipient’s eligibility based on the different adult definition of disability once a minor turns 18. There are no duration caps applicable to blind SSI recipients’ cases.

Determining your child’s eligibility for disability benefits

The SSA has strict criteria for determining whether a benefits applicant has a qualifying disability. Those children with certain, severe medical conditions may qualify for Compassionate Allowances (CAL). If you believe that your claim for benefits for your child was wrongfully denied, an experienced attorney may be able to help you.

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