While they love them dearly, the reality is that parents who are trying to raise children with a mental or physical disability are going to face a lot of struggles.
The emotional aspect of it aside, raising children with special needs is expensive. For parents who already might be struggling to make a living, the financial costs can be overwhelming without help.
The Social Security Administration must determine that a child is disabled
Special needs children who themselves have not built up enough work history to qualify for Social Security Disability income, or SSDI, can still qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.
SSI is not based at all on a person’s work history but instead on financial need, which is why it is available to children.
However, as is the case with an adult, the Social Security Administration will have to determine that a child’s condition, or conditions, meets its definition of disability before the SSA will pay SSI benefits on a child’s behalf.
The definition of disability is slightly different for children when compared with the disability definition the SSA uses for adults. The actual mechanics of how the SSA will apply its definition to a case can be complicated.
The point, though, is that a child’s disabling condition has to be expected to last for at least 1 year or to end in death. The condition must also seriously limit the child’s ordinary activities.
Parents who are interested in pursuing this option should also be aware that there are resource and income limits on who can receive SSI.
Parents in Tennessee and throughout the Southeast who have children with special needs should consider SSI as a viable legal option.
They may wish to review this option with an experienced Social Security attorney, as the child’s caregivers may want help with pursuing benefits.