As the parent of a disabled child, you know that medical assistance, specialized education, and ensuring a high quality of life can be expensive. This is one of the reasons why federal assistance is available to families like yours. Qualifying for benefits like the ones provided under the SSI child disability program is all about meeting the qualification criteria.
If you are struggling with the SSI for children requirements or your application has been turned down, a consultation with a Greenville social security disability firm will be of paramount importance. SSI child disability lawyers like J. Robert Surface have the experience and the academic background to guide you through the process and increase your odds of success.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible for Child SSI?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a strict set of criteria for the provision of supplemental security income (SSI) for children.
There are both age requirements and medical condition requirements that applicants will have to meet. Some of the most important criteria for the provision of benefits under the SSI for children program include:
- Applicant has to be under the age of 18, unmarried and not the head of a household
- Applicants can be aged up to 22 if they are still in school
- A child has to be medically declared blind to participate in the program or
- There is a medical/psychological condition that results in serious functional limitations
- The condition is of chronic nature or
- It could potentially lead to death
SSA provides assistance to such children until they turn 18 (or 22 respectively). When this happens, the disability will be re-examined to determine whether the recipient will be entitled to disability benefits as an adult. There is no minimum age at which the provision of SSI child disability benefits can begin.
The situation is pretty straightforward as far as blindness is concerned. Whenever a child suffers from a medical condition that causes functional impairments, however, things may be left to interpretation. Getting the assistance of a Greenville disability attorney in such instances will be very important.
A Greenville disability lawyer will contact medical professionals, collect records and look for additional documentation that will paint a comprehensive picture. Providing the SSA with enough information about the condition and the manner in which it impedes the normal life of a child is going to be one of the prerequisites for receiving child disability benefits.
How to Can An Attorney Help You Apply for SSI Child Disability?
As already mentioned, the application process consists of getting multiple documents and making sure that all qualification criteria are met.
For a start, the family will need to establish its income. According to the official SSA website, the gross monthly income needs to be below a certain amount for the application to be acceptable. The determining factors are whether it’s a one or two-parent household and whether there are also ineligible children in the family.
A two-parent household that has zero ineligible children, for example, should have an income below 3,875 dollars to start getting child disability benefits. For a single-parent household that has two ineligible children, the threshold is also set at 3,875 dollars.
Bank statements and other financial documents establishing the income level will have to be submitted to the SSA.
Information about the disability and the current treatment the child is undergoing will also be required. Some information and document types to submit alongside the application include:
- Contact information for the medical professional currently treating the child and of doctors who have been involved in the process in
- the past
- Medical records, relevant lab exams, and official diagnosis reports
- A list of prescribed medications the child is taking
- Contact information for teachers and other educational professionals working with the child (counselors, psychologists, therapists, etc.)
- Birth certificate and social security number of the applicant
- Social security numbers and names of the other household members
There are strict SSA guidelines published on an annual basis, and these present the medical conditions that qualify families for SSI child disability. Here are some of the conditions that entitle families to this type of federal financial assistance:
Autism and mental disorders like schizophrenia
- Cerebral palsy
- ADD and ADHD
- Down syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Asthma and chronic respiratory conditions
- Cystic fibrosis
- Juvenile diabetes
- Very low birth weight
Many of these conditions could lead to the automatic approval of the application and a streamlined process.
While these impairments are included in the SSA list, they are not the only ones that will lead to the provision of child disability benefits. Whenever medical reports prove that a condition leads to serious functional limitations, SSI for children will be provided on the basis of the medical documentation.
Getting all required information organized and prepared for the SSA can be a gargantuan task, especially if you are taking care of a child that has special needs. In such instances, the help of a disability attorney can come in handy.
Disability lawyers are familiar with the SSI for children’s process. You will be free from having to do thorough research about the application and the documentation you will need. In addition, a lawyer can also handle the document collection and communication with medical professionals instead of you. This way, the process will become much faster, and the chance of qualifying for SSI will increase exponentially.
While the list mentioned above includes most of the essentials, there could be other types of documents required to build a strong case. The more information you can provide SSA with, the better. Your Greenville attorney will examine the specifics of the case to determine whether additional records or expert statements will be required. The consideration will depend on the type of disability and the medical treatment the child is currently getting.
Families that are successful will soon begin receiving their SSI for children in monthly installments. According to the SSA official website, the SSI monthly amount for eligible individuals as of January 2018 is 750 dollars.
What Happens if Your Child Disability Benefits Application is Denied?
This is another common situation in which the parents of blind or disabled children seek attorney assistance. Depending on the comprehensiveness of the application package, SSA may decide to grant financial assistance or turn the application down.
There are also certain conditions that will lead to the rejection of the application on the basis of the consequences experienced by the family. The SSA will assess whether:
- The condition is affecting the child’s ability to learn and process new information
- What the child’s ability to complete complex tasks is
- Whether the child is capable of interacting and communicating adequately with others
- How their mobility is affected by the condition
- Whether a child is capable of dealing with personal needs without assistance
- What the impacts on general health and well-being are
These criteria are used on medical conditions that are not included in the automatic approval list. At least two of these categories should be markedly affected by the condition in a negative way. A marked effect is defined as a condition that seriously interferes with normal life.
Unless these conditions are met for conditions that do not qualify for automatic approval, the application will be rejected.
If your application has been rejected, you are probably wondering whether the administration’s decision can be appealed. The answer is a reassuring “yes!”
The process of appealing an SSA decision consists of several steps. For a start, you will need to request a reconsideration of the SSI application. Next, rejection is to be appealed in front of an administrative law judge.
If both of these steps fail, applying for an Appeal Council review will come in next. Finally, a case can be filed in federal court.
All of these steps can be challenging and time-consuming to prepare for. In addition, there will be legal and administrative specifics that untrained individuals are not prepared to handle. A disability attorney will know how to navigate through the complex appeal process, presenting relevant evidence to potentially overturn the SSA decision.
Giving up after your child has been denied SSI child disability benefits is not an option. In fact, many applications are turned down right from the start. Depending on the specifics of the disability, the application process can be complex, and the outcome will depend on numerous factors. Something as simple as a poorly prepared application package can lead to rejection.
Even if you have not used legal assistance the first time around, it is still possible to get the outcome you are hoping for. Contact a Greenville disability attorney as soon as you get the SSA denial in order to begin the appeal process.
The Benefits of Hiring a Disability Attorney for the SSI Process
Completing the SSI for children application process will necessitate a lot of coordination. You will have to talk to your child’s doctor, teachers, physical therapists, and councilors. You will need reports and documents from all of these professionals. In addition, you will have to make sure that the documents contain the right kind of information.
Having a consultation with a Greenville disability attorney will help you answer a number of important questions.
For a start, you will get to determine accurately whether your family qualifies for the SSI program.
In addition, an attorney will know exactly what documents and types of information to get from the medical and the educational professionals working with your child. There is no such thing as providing the SSA with too much information. Even if some of the data is obsolete, it can still help to build a compelling case.
Something as simple as omitting important information or missing your document can lead to the rejection of your application. In this case, you will have to go through the appeals process. Getting someone to guide you from the beginning reduces the risk of rejection and gives your family the opportunity to start getting child disability benefits sooner.
SSI Child Disability Benefits
Keep in mind that even when you get approved for SSI child disability benefits, you will still have to undergo a periodic review. The review is needed to ensure the family’s financial eligibility for participation in the program. The manner in which the funds are being spent can also be examined by the SSA.
If the medical condition leaves room for improvement and a reduction in the disability of the child, a periodic review may also be appointed by the SSA.
Handling such reviews through the years can be emotionally and administratively burdening. A disability attorney will warn you about these upcoming processes and help you prepare for them.
J. Robert Surface – 34 Years of Experience in Legal Disability Cases
Choosing the right legal representation is of paramount importance when it comes to getting federal assistance for your child. You need someone who has been practicing long enough and who has focused their career in the field of disability cases.
Speak with an Experienced SSI Child Disability Lawyer
J. Robert Surface has over 34 years of experience in the field of servicing the disabled. Some of the areas that he specializes in include social security law, veterans disability, and child disability benefits. Very often, filing documents with the SSA seems simple at first, but it eventually proves to be a complicated process. Surface knows what it takes to navigate through all of the administrative steps that may hinder a family from getting the benefits that it so desperately needs.
If your financial situation is strained, you are looking into SSI for children, but you are hesitant about the application process, you should contact a disability attorney immediately. Professionals like J. Robert Surface will represent you aggressively and make sure that your application is successful. Even if you have failed in the past, seeking legal assistance will be worth a try.
Do not wait more time – your child deserves the best life and the best medical care. You can ensure a high standard via the SSI child disability program. Call the experienced SSI child disability lawyers at J. Robert Surface today at (864) 300-4994 to schedule your first free consultation.