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How children qualify for Supplemental Security Income

Many of the discussions that focus on the Social Security disability system revolve around adults who have been rendered unable to work by a serious illness or injury. While these adults in Iowa and across the U.S. certainly make up the vast majority of disability claimants, they are not, by any means, the only individuals who may qualify for disability benefits.

Children, for example, may qualify for Supplemental Security Income if they meet certain federal requirements. Amongst these requirements are a limitation on the amount of income the child has earned in the given year. For example, disabled children who are not blind cannot earn more than $1,180 per month and still qualify for SSI benefits. These children must also demonstrate that they a medical condition that severely limit their functional abilities. Also, the condition in question must also be expected to last for at least a year or result in death.

In order to apply for these benefits, a family must send in extensive information about the child’s condition. This includes medical records, of course, but also documentation that shows how the condition limits the child’s ability to perform activities, such as school records. Benefits will not be paid out until a determination is made based on this information unless certain severe medical conditions exist. Amongst those conditions that qualify for immediate payment while a claim is being determined are total blindness, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and certain intellectual disabilities.

Children’s disability benefits can prove extremely useful to a child and his or her family by providing a financial resource that is much needed as treatment is sought. However, these claims are often denied, which means that claimants need to be prepared to present strong evidence not only for their initial claim, but also for any potential appeal. Therefore, those applying for SSI will want to ensure they understand all the requirements that must be met for the approval of benefits, so they can prepare a thorough application or appeal.