The Social Security Administration designed a disability program to compensate individuals who are unable to work as a result of their physical or mental impairments. But not only adults are eligible for disability benefits. Children might be entitled to disability benefits under Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income Program. If your child is severely limited in their functional abilities AND you have little or no income, you should pursue these benefits on behalf of your child.
According to the Social Security Administration, in order for your child to be considered “disabled,” he or she must have a physical or mental condition which results in “marked and severe” functional limitations. The alleged disability must be medically proven and since the child is not capable of working or earning an income, it is the income of the household, typically the parents, that Social Security looks to in determining whether the child can receive Supplemental Security Income.
The following is a list of things Social Security will look at when determining if the child is disabled and whether they are eligible for disability benefits:
- The mental or physical injury or impairment
- How this impairment affects the child on a daily basis
- The medical evidence supporting the child’s limitation
- School report cards or records that might show the inabilities of the child to perform in the classroom
- Opinions of the child’s teachers or therapists as to the child’s overall development
- Depending on the child’s age, a Judge might elicit the child’s testimony
In determining eligibilty, the Social Security Administration will look at the household’s overall income and resources to determine if the child can receive disability benefits. Here is a sample of what Social Security checks up on before deciding if a child is disabled:
- The salaries of the people living in the household. In most cases, the parents’ salaries
- Bank accounts of the parents. For a single parent, if you have more than $2,000 in the bank, your child will be ineligible for disability benefits. For a couple, the maximum amount of money you can have is $3,000.
- Assets. Anything that can be converted into cash.
- Life Insurance