Before applying for SSI for children there are several factors to consider that may aid in understanding of what can be expected from the process. Children may be eligible to receive these types of benefits from birth up to the age of 18 if they meet certain criteria. Understanding the following key points when it comes to applying for these benefits may be helpful to determine whether one may benefit from seeking the services of a qualified Social Security disability advocate.
• How is the determination made for whether a child is disabled? – There are strict guidelines outlined by Social Security regarding how disability is defined. These include:
1) The child must be determined to have a mental or physical condition that places significant limitations on his or her activities
2) The condition must have persisted or be anticipated to persist a minimum of a year or result in death
• What else is considered in determining eligibility? – Both the parent’s and child’s income or resources can also be a factor in determining eligibility for SSI benefits. Income and personal information about household family members are included for consideration.
• What is the time frame for receiving a response about a child’s eligibility? – Applicants may be notified at any time following the completion of their application, but it may take several months to receive a response.
• Does SSI cover medical expenses? – The program is not provided for medical assistance; however, those deemed eligible for SSI benefits are also often eligible for health care assistance programs like Medicaid.
• Is a child eligible to work while receiving SSI? – Yes, and there are programs that provide support for young people who receive these benefits and want to work. Information can be obtained about the programs from your local Social Security office.
An interview is typically part of the process to assess a child’s eligibility for SSI. Also, a state agency reviews information provided to them, which may include medical records, in making a determination of disability.
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