Schott Mauss & Associates, PLLC
Helping Iowans Who Are Injured And Disabled Obtain The Benefit They Deserve

Social Security disability benefits and Down syndrome

For most expectant parents, having a healthy baby is the most important outcome of their pregnancy. As a result, many of these parents take steps to better ensure their children are born without illness or injury. Yet, despite these efforts, some Iowa children are born with serious medical conditions. These conditions can limit the emotional, intellectual, or physical abilities of a child. Making matters worse is the fact that it can be costly to treat these medical conditions, which, in turn, can threaten a family's financial viability. Fortunately, Supplemental Security Income may be available to some of these children and their families.

One common medical condition that may qualify an individual for SSI benefits is Down syndrome. While it is easier for a child with non-Mosaic Down syndrome to qualify for SSI benefits due to the intellectual and neurological limitations that often accompany this condition, those with Mosaic Down syndrome may also qualify. Those in the latter group must simply provide more medical evidence to demonstrate how the condition affects the child's ability to live a normal life.

It is worth noting that SSI is a means-tested program. That means that only families that make under a certain amount of income will qualify for benefits. Therefore, before pursuing an SSI claim, families should make sure they meet income requirements. If they find that they do meet that requirement, then they should continue with genetic testing to confirm a diagnosis of Down syndrome. From there, they should gather additional medical evidence that shows how the condition limits the child's daily functioning.

Obtaining benefits based on a child's disability isn't an easy thing to do. In fact, many families see their claims denied for a variety of reasons. It is often best to work with a skilled legal advocate who knows the system and can help present compelling legal arguments.

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