Before You Apply For Disability Benefits For Your Child


Supplemental Security Income is not merely meant for disabled adults. Children from birth up to age 18 can also draw benefits from the Supplemental Security Income scheme of the Social Security Administration of the United States government. Read on to know more about how they can do so.

How Does A Child Become Eligible To Get SSI Benefits?
The Social Security Administration has its own set of rules defining disability and these come into play when determining the fate of an SSI applicant. It follows the following criteria to award SSI benefits.

* The child must be suffering from serious physical or mental disability that limits his/her activities.
* This condition should last or is expected to last for a year or is expected to result in the death of the child.

How to Apply For SSI Benefits?
First of all, make a call to the Social Security Administration for a telephonic or personal appointment at the local social security office. Once the interview is over, you need to fill in relevant information duly in the application form for obtaining SSI benefits for children.

Once completed, this is sent to the Social Security Administration. They will review the information provided in the form and obtain medical reports or other details of the child from his physician or health care institution treatment. Keeping these findings in mind a decision is arrived at.

What All Information Is Asked During The Interview?
The information which is required at the time of interview pertains to the child's disability, his/her family income, known as well as unknown sources of supplemental income, and if there are any other siblings in the family drawing similar benefits. Download a StarterKit from the website www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/ in order to obtain a detailed look at these questions.

How Long Would It Take For The SSI To Come Through?
The process of scrutiny and decision-making is a tedious process, and this is expected because the US government is spending tax-payers money. Hence, the entire process (from filling the application form and getting the first check) may take around 3 to 5 months.

Other Useful Information
Children with disability can also avail of the following healthcare programmes:

* Medicaid: This is a health care program for children with no or very low income. Even if children do not get SSI, this is something which they can still get.
* State Children's Health Insurance Programme (SCHIP): This is awarded if disabled children belong to families whose income exceeds the limit set for obtaining Medicaid but is still low for obtaining private heath care. Further, like Medicaid, children with disability can still get it even if they do not get SSI.