Applying for SSDI Benefits for a Disabled Child

Raising a child with cognitive or physical disabilities often includes additional expenses that put an undue burden on families. The Social Security system has mechanisms that can help, including Supplemental Security Income. Applying for SSI is an involved process. With assistance from a Chicago social security lawyer, applying can be less stressful.

What is SSI?

While Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is something that many are familiar with, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a different type of payment.SSI is a monthly payment for those who have limited resources and are over the age of 65, blind or disabled. Children who are blind or otherwise disabled may also receive SSI payments when their parents have limited resources.

Who is eligible for SSI?

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for SSI if they have certain disabilities or medical conditions and have resources that fall within limits set by the Social Security Administration. Some children have a complex diagnosis, and the system is designed to take into account the cumulative effect those conditions have on a child’s development. The key is to be thorough when completing the SSI application, listing all medical conditions in detail and including relevant medical reference material where requested. It is also helpful to attach a list of professional medical, therapy and educational staff who are familiar with the child’s case, along with their contact information. An additional factor is maintaining transparency regarding the child’s access to resources.

Why are some claims denied?

While all claims are different, the reason SSI claims for disabled children are denied is typically one of two things. First, the child’s disability was not thoroughly documented. Chicago social security lawyers know that including information about the knock-on effects of the child’s disability in their daily life is imperative to establish that support is, in fact, necessary. Second, the application doesn’t fairly state the child’s access to resources. This can mean that the parents or guardians have understated the financial resources available, or that the resources are under reported. Either scenario means that SSI payments cannot be adequately calculated and a claim denial is likely.

What happens next?

When a claim is denied the Social Security Administration will review an appeal, provided it is lodged in a timely manner. Appeals should include an abundance of financial and medical information, painting a true picture of the child’s status.