Can Children Get Disability Benefits?
Children are considered disabled if they have a physical or mental condition which is so severe that it results in marked and severe functional limitations.
Yes, just like adults, children can qualify for disability benefits. However, the requirements are slightly different for children and adults.
Disability benefits for children are always handled through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Children cannot qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because they have not worked enough years to qualify.
Under SSI, children are considered disabled if they have a physical or mental condition which is so severe that it results in marked and severe functional limitations. The child’s condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least twelve (12) months, or be expected to result in the child’s death. The amount of SSI to which a child is entitled depends on how much his/her parent’s own and how much income the parent(s) receive.
It is important that the disability is well documented. For children, it is generally important that a school counselor or teacher documents the challenges facing the child. If the disability is physical or requires treatment from a psychiatrist, it is important to consult with the doctor frequently and be as informative as possible.
Good medical records are the key to winning disability benefits.
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