Can a child with a disability receive social security?


Yes, for as long as the child meets the criteria set for disability, as well as income and that a child is a dependent of someone who is covered with Social Security. The child may even get a higher amount than what is usually paid in Social Security since some states provide additional disability payments.

Here are some bases or criteria that your child has to meet to be eligible for social security.

  • Disability. The child should meet the level of disability that is set forth by Social Security. This means that the impairment - whether physical or mental - results in "marked and sever functional limitations. The condition prevents the child from doing day-to-day tasks that he used to be able to perform prior to the impairment. These disabilities include total blindness or deafness, HIV, Down Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, mental retardation, Muscular dystrophy or low birth weight.
  • Duration and severity of the impairment. The impairment must have lasted for at least 12 months, or is expected to last for at least 12 months. It can also be that the disease is expected to result in death.
  • Income. If the child is working or receives allowances or insurance benefits that are taxable, he should be earning or receiving less than $1,000 (for 2010) for him to be eligible for disability benefits. Or, the child may receive disability benefits based on the parent's earnings. Social Security will also look into the persons living in the same household as the child to check their income and resources. Please note that the maximum income amount changes every year to account for inflation.
  • Living arrangements. Some consideration will also be placed on whether the child is living in your household, or whether he is boarding someplace else and only stays in your home occasionally. This is in consideration of whether the child is under you control and supervision.
  • Other resources. If the child is staying in a medical facility (i.e. hospital, nursing home, hospice care) that is paid for by health insurance, Social Security will limit the disability benefits to only $30 a month.

When you are applying for disability benefits for your child, you should provide Social Security with complete and up-to-date medical records, as well as he proof of how his present condition impairs his ability to function day to day. You should provide Social Security with permission to access professionals - doctors, therapists, etc. - to help the administration determine your child's medical condition.

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