As a parent, you strive for your children to become independent adults. However, if you have a child who suffers from a severe physical or mental impairment, achieving full autonomy may be out of reach for them. If so, you may worry about how you will support your child long-term.
While you may feel anxious about your child’s future, support options are available.
Depending on the circumstances, your child could qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
What criteria must they meet?
Supplemental Security Income is meant for individuals with severe disabilities and older adults with lower income. Because of this, your child could qualify for monthly SSI payments under certain circumstances. Your child’s disability must also last for at least 12 months or be fatal.
Depending on the severity of your child’s condition, they could qualify for SSI benefits if they suffer from:
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Down syndrome
- Bipolar disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Total/partial blindness
- Hearing loss
While your child’s SSI benefits can expire once they turn 18, there are some cases where their benefits could extend into adulthood. For example, your child’s benefits could continue if they participate in a vocational rehabilitation, special education or other approved program.
There are other ways your child can remain on SSI into adulthood. For example, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may extend their benefits if you are the child’s beneficiary and still meet SSA’s financial and medical requirements. If your child’s benefits end once they become an adult, they could potentially switch to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, their eligibility for SSDI may be subject to the administration’s evaluation process.
Who can determine if my child is eligible?
The Social Security Administration can determine a child’s SSI eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The administration can typically assess your child’s eligibility for SSI based on your family’s financial resources, such as your household income and assets. Financial qualifications can also vary depending on where you live. That is because some states provide supplements for Social Security payments.
Get your child the support they need
Caring for a child with a severe physical or mental impairment can be costly, especially if you have limited income and savings to cover their care expenses. Supplemental Security Income can provide you with additional support to bridge those financial gaps. But even if your child needs SSI benefits, you can face a lot of roadblocks on your journey to getting them. A disability attorney can steer you through the obstacles from the moment you apply to appealing application rejections.