Avail Disability Benefits for Disabled Child

Guest Author: Ram Meyyappan
(United States)

Disability benefits help optimal parenting of disabled children:
When a child suffers from any form of severe disability, either parent may be required to leave the workforce to be able to care for the needs of a disabled child. This can cause significant financial stress, not to mention mounting medical bills. Fortunately in some cases Social Security Disability benefits can help in the United States. 

Qualifying for social security disability benefits

The type of benefits that children under the age of 18 qualify for are known as SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits.

SSI is a needs-based program:

In order to qualify for them, as of 2013, the household income must be no more than $710 per month as a single parent or $1,060 per month as a couple.

Family’s household assets must also not exceed $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple. In addition, the child in question must be deemed to be disabled by the Social Security Administration.

Social security "Blue Book"

Disability Benefits Help Optimal Parenting of Disabled Children

Parenting a disabled child is a big challenge. And several conditions cause severe disabilities in children. All of the conditions that qualify a disabled child for the benefits are listed in a published document known as the Social Security Blue Book.

The Blue Book lists each condition along with the qualifying criteria that must be met in order to be approved for disability benefits under that condition. Some of the conditions that would qualify a child for Social Security Disability benefits include conditions that involve:

  • Growth impairment.

  • The musculoskeletal system impairment as in major joint dysfunction, disorders of the spine, and amputation.

  • Speech disorders like severe stuttering. 

  • Special senses impairment, such as loss of vision and hearing disorders.

  • Respiratory system involvement, such as lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, asthma, and lung damage that indicate lung transplant.
     
  • Poor cardiovascular system functions such as chronic heart failure, recurrent arrhythmias, and congenital heart disease.

  • The digestive system involvement as in chronic liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and severe liver failure that demands liver transplant.

  • Genitourinary impairments such as deteriorating renal function, nephrotic syndrome, and congenital genitourinary malformations.

  • Blood disorders such as haemolytic anemia, sickle cell disease, and inherited coagulation disorders.

  • Skin disorders such as Bullous disease, dermatitis, and photo sensitivity disorders with genetic predisposition.

  • Endocrine disorders such as any type of diabetes mellitus that requires daily insulin.

  • Congenital and genetic disorders that affect multiple body systems, for example fetal alcohol syndrome and non-mosiac Down's Syndrome.

  • Neurological problems such as non-convulsive epilepsy, brain tumors, and cerebral palsy disability benefits.

  • Childhood psychiatric disorders or disturbed mental health like mood disturbances, learning difficulties and mental retardation.

  • Childhood malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma, and retinoblastoma.

  • Immune system disorders, for example type 1 diabetes, systemic vasculitis, systemic sclerosis, and HIV.

The list is by no means exhaustive.
These are just some of the conditions that would qualify a child for Social Security Disability benefits. If your child's condition is not listed above, refer to the SSA Blue Book to see if your child's specific condition is listed and what criteria he or she must meet in order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

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Type of medical documentation needed

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the burden of proving convincing details that your child meets the SSA's disability criteria falls onto your shoulders.

This means:

  • Parents have to themselves gather enough medical evidence to support your child's disability.

  • You need to collect copies of your child's medical records, clinical histories, lab results, treatment histories, and written statements from treating physicians.

The above mentioned documents are to SSA to justify your child's health and care needs, so that the benefit child is entitled to can be approved.

How to apply for disability benefits?

To apply for benefits for a disabled child, you will be asked to fill out a number of forms. Therefore, gather enough information by browsing the SSA's website. You could also visit your local Social Security office in person.

It is crucial that you fill out these forms in their entirety and provide detailed answers to each question asked. If you are applying in person, you can give your medical evidence to the intake personnel at that time. Whereas for online application, you will be provided with a cover sheet that will allow you to fax your medical proof in to the SSA. Make sure you do this immediately so that it is taken into consideration.

You will receive a determination approximately three to six months from the date of your application, assuming it is not a Compassionate Allowances case. If your child's condition is listed in the SSA's list of Compassionate Allowances, you may be able to receive a determination in as little as two weeks.

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Contribution from other guest authors

High Fructose Corn Syrup in Sugar Free Drinks: A Cause for Child Health Concern - by Andrea Peterson, United States

Cerebral Palsy - by Matthew Norman, Austin State, TX : U S A

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About the Author - Ram Meyyappan

Ram Meyyappan is the senior editor of Social Security Disability, which is an informational website on all things related to Social Security Disability in the United States. 

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