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SSD benefits for children living with disabilities

When individuals in Pennsylvania and elsewhere think about a person filing a disability claim, he or she often thinks of a worker that suffered an injury because of a work accident. While this is a common reason to file for Social Security disability benefits, this is not the only reason to do so. In fact, it is not only adults that benefit from this program. Children, too, can apply for and receive SSD benefits for a disability he or she is suffering from.

There are various reasons why a child may receive SSD benefits, and it is not only due to the child suffering from a disability. Based on 2017 data, it was found that the SSA distributed roughly $2.6 billion each month as a means to benefit 4.2 million children who have one or both parents that are disabled, retired or deceased. The idea is that these funds help provide the necessities of life for the family, making it possible for these children to have their needs met so they can complete high school.

Additionally, children living with disabilities are among the most vulnerable citizens in the nation. Thus, the SSA has dedicated programs to help these young disabled individuals. In order to qualify and receive these benefits, a child must have a physical or mental condition that results in a marked and severe functional limitation In other words, the condition must be so severe that it limits the child's activities and is expected to last at least 12 months or result in his or her death. Additionally, the child must not be working and earning more than the substantial gainful activity limit, which is $1,180 a month for 2018 and will be $1,220 in 2019.

Whether it is through SSD, SSI or the compassionate allowances program, the SSA has various ways to help children impacted by a disability. It is important that the rights and options of these young individuals are fully understood. This not only helps protect their rights but also ensures that they receive the assistance that they are entitled to.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee