Do Children With Down Syndrome Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

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Social security disability benefits are meant for individuals who are unable to provide for themselves due to a disability. These benefits are also available for children with various medical conditions. If your child has Down syndrome, he or she is very likely to quality for these benefits. However, children with Down syndrome must still meet a set of requirements defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) before they are awarded benefits. Contact our Greenville disability attorneys today to see if your child qualifies.

Medical Requirements

Down syndrome is listed as one of the recognized conditions in SSA’s Blue Book. This means that SSA regards Down syndrome as a valid condition which leads to limitations that qualify for disability benefits. As per this comprehensive guide, if a child has Translocation or Trisomy 21 variants of Down syndrome, he or she will qualify for benefits. These variants are typically found in nearly 98% of the total number of people who suffer from the Down syndrome.

If a child suffers from a rarer variant, the Mosaic Down syndrome, you will need to get medical diagnosis and opinion to back the benefits application. This is because people with this variant may not always suffer from the severe physical or intellectual limitations caused by the other variants of the syndrome.

In general, you will need to prove that the child suffers from the following limitations due to Down syndrome:

  • Poor verbal or visual communication abilities
  • Requires wheelchair or crutches to walk or stand
  • Inability to work due to intellectual disabilities
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Heart health problems

Financial Requirements

In addition to the medical requirements, SSA also checks disability benefits applicants against certain financial requirements. As a rule of thumb, if applicants or their families are above a designated financial standing level, their claim is turned down.

Children with Down syndrome can seek SSA’s Supplementary Security Income, also known as SSI benefits. For a person suffering from this condition to seek SSI, he or she must be unable to earn above $1,190 per month due to intellectual limitations.

If you are applying for SSI on behalf of a child with Down syndrome disabilities, you must qualify the financial requirements as well. The key requirement in such a case is the monthly income of the family before tax deductions. The actual limit varies from one family to another and depends on the size of the family, among other factors.

For instance, a single parent with a single child must earn no more than $43,000 to qualify for SSI benefits on behalf of the child. On the other hand, both parents with three children must earn below $62,000 to apply for any of the eligible child.

SSA also distinguishes between earned and unearned incomes – typically, the limits are lower for unearned income. For instance, for a single parent with one child, the limit for unearned income is around $24,000. For two parents with three children, the limit is around $37,000.

If your family income or the ability of a child to earn is below the designated SSA limits, the financial requirements are met. However, if the net earnings are above the limits, the application will be rejection right away.

It is important to note here that your income counts against your child’s benefits application until he or she turns 18. At this point, your income is no longer considered when reviewing the child’s application. Instead, the ability and earning capacity of the young person are considered when determining whether or not they qualify for benefits.

Hire Child Disability Lawyers in Greenville SC

If your child suffers from Down syndrome and the condition has imposed limitations on the child’s ability to work or perform daily activities, you should seek social security disability benefits. The first step in initiating the application process is to visit your local SSA office. You should also check out this SSI Child Disability Starter Kit to know the documents you need for the application.

At this point, it is always useful to hire the services of quality child disability lawyers. In Greenville SC, Robert Surface law firm has been working with SSA applicants for a long time. If you have a child with disabilities, including Down syndrome, we will work with you to seek a fair amount of disability benefits from SSA.

Our attorneys work with you from the initial application process all the way to the decision and the appeals if needed. Contact us today to discuss your application in a FREE consultation with our attorneys.