Childhood Supplemental Security Income or Childhood SSI Benefits – I spoke with an expert on SSI Benefits about the accessibility of benefits in Michigan for children with specials or disabilities. Gary Bimberg from the Southfield Michigan-based Law Firm of Levine Benjamin was happy to provide us with info Childhood Supplemental Security Income – Childhood SSI Benefits.
The 411 on Childhood Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits By Gary Bimberg
When you hear the term “Social Security payments,” you probably think of adults receiving retirement or disability payments. And while it’s true that the Social Security Administration (SSA) pays out millions of dollars in retirement and disability benefits every year, many people don’t realize that the SSA also provides benefits to thousands of children across the country.
If you’re the parent of a child with a disability, special needs or a terminal illness and your family meets certain income requirements, it’s possible your child is eligible to receive Childhood Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
What is Childhood SSI – Childhood Supplemental Security Income?
Childhood SSI benefits are monthly payments issued from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to children under the age of 18 who are low income or have limited resources.
Thousands of families across the United States rely on childhood SSI payments to pay for medical and other caregiving expenses. Since SSI is a federally funded program, the SSA has strict requirements for determining whether or not your child is eligible to receive payments.
Is My Child Eligible for Childhood Supplemental Security Income – SSI
Having a child with a disability or special need isn’t enough to qualify for benefits. In order to qualify for Childhood SSI, your child must be considered legally disabled and meet certain income requirements. To satisfy the legal definition of “disabled,” your child must have a physical or mental condition, or combination of conditions, that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.”
The condition also must have been or be expected to be disabling for at least 12 months, or result in death. There are several medical and mental conditions that may qualify as legally disabling, including low birth weight, blindness, cancer and congenital heart disease.
After proving that your child is legally disabled, you must also demonstrate that your child is low income or has limited resources. According to the SSA, a child meets income eligibility requirements if he or she earns less than $1,090 per month. Additionally, your child must live in either a single parent household with an income of no more than $36,000 per year, or a two-parent household with an annual income of no more than $44,000. Children will typically qualify for Childhood SSI payments if their families receive state benefits such as Welfare, food stamps or Medicaid.
Applying for Childhood SSI – Childhood Supplemental Security Income
Applying for Childhood SSI payments is a complicated process. Your child’s medical and school records will be reviewed to determine the extent of his or her condition and how it affects his or her ability to function relative to peers.
If you believe your child may qualify for Childhood SSI, it’s important that you provide all the necessary documentation to prove your child’s disability and financial need. To protect your child’s rights, it’s strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney familiar with SSI laws and regulations prior to applying for benefits.
About Gary Bimberg
Gary is a Managing Partner and, along with Attorney Joe Houle, is head of the Social Security Disability Department at Levine Benjamin – a disability law firm based in Detroit. He started at the firm in 1993 as a law clerk before moving up to Associate Attorney in 1995 and Partner in 2000.
To learn more about the Childhood SSI legal services available from Levine Benjamin, visit http://www.levinebenjamin.com.
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