Disability benefits in the United States usually come from one of three sources. People can buy their own private disability insurance or receive coverage from their employer. Workers who get hurt on the job can receive both short-term and permanent disability benefits through workers’ compensation.
Finally, there are also Social Security disability benefits that help some people. However, to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), an individual needs to have worked a job long enough to have accrued benefits.
If you have a child in your family with special needs or a serious disability, they likely won’t qualify for employer benefits, workers’ compensation or SSDI. Thankfully, there is a federal disability benefit that can even apply to children who have never worked a job.
Can your family qualify for disability benefits because of a young member?
The Social Security Administration does not just manage SSDI claims and retirement benefits. They also have another program that protects those who have never worked and those who are not old enough to work.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a benefit available to those who don’t receive SSDI. Like SSDI, it is a cash benefit that can help individuals and families make ends meet. Qualifying for SSI depends on someone having limited income and a documented, disabling medical condition, being blind or being over the age of 65.
SSI benefits typically require proof of financial need and are subject to income limitations. The income limits for 2021 for SSI are $749 per month for one person or $1,191 for a couple.
SSI can help families with medical costs or a parent who stays home
When a child has special needs, their condition may result in financial difficulty for the family. There be medical bills to consider, and it is also possible that one parent may only be able to work part-time or will even forego paid employment so that they can provide care for their child.
Claiming SSI benefits can help your family close a gap in its budget and can make it easier for you to provide the support and care that your child with special needs requires.