Social Security disability benefits aim to help those who cannot earn a living wage because of a qualifying condition. Since children do not work, it’s reasonable to assume they are not entitled to such benefits, even if they're disabled. However, lost wages are not the only cost associated with having a disability. If a child has a physical or mental impairment, for example, their parents may have to cover medical equipment, therapy, and other related expenses. Because of this, there are scenarios in which disabled children are entitled to financial assistance; there are also times when children of disabled parents are entitled to benefits. Here is what you should know about such programs.
Supplemental Security Income
Children with a qualifying physical or mental disability may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Since SSI is a needs-based program, the Social Security Administration will consider a portion of the parents’ income when determining whether a child is eligible. Children who qualify for SSI may also receive Medicaid benefits. Upon turning 18, they will have to reapply for benefits as an adult. At that point, the parents’ income will not be considered, but the monthly payments will be reduced if the claimant relies on them for food and shelter.
Social Security Dependent Benefits
Children may be entitled to dependent benefits regardless of their own health if their parent is currently receiving Social Security disability or retirement benefits—or was entitled to them—before passing away. Typically, auxiliary benefits are for up to 50% of the parent’s monthly payment, but there is a family maximum. Children may receive such benefits until turning 18 or, if enrolled full time in high school, 19.
If you want to apply for Social Security disability benefits for you or someone in your family, turn to The Gil Law Firm in Dothan, AL. Since 2000, this practice has been helping clients throughout Alabama, Georgia, and Florida with bankruptcy, personal injury, and Social Security disability law. To learn more about the invaluable counsel they provide, visit their website. To schedule an initial consultation, call (334) 673-0100.