If you have a child or grandchild with a disability, you may be thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits for the child. The most common type of children’s disability benefits is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
However, proving disability in only half of a SSI case. All SSI cases have two parts:
- The individual (adult or child) has to be medically disabled (this includes psychological disabilities).
- The individual has to be financially eligible to receive SSI benefits.
It is quite possible for Social Security to decide that a person is disabled, but then deny that individual on financial grounds. See my article about financial eligibility in adult SSI cases.
Children’s SSI cases can be even tougher. In adult SSI cases, Social Security considers the individual’s and their spouse’s income. In children’s SSI cases, Social Security considers then entire household income in deciding financial eligibility. The household finances test continues until the child turn 18. On the child’s 18th birthday, Social Security only considers the child’s income (which in many cases is zero). However, once the child turns 18, he or she is considered an adult and evaluated under the adult standard of disability.
What often happens is the parents’ income makes the child financially ineligible for children’s SSI benefits. If this happens to you, there are a couple of limited options.
- Look into the possibility of DAC benefits.
- Reapply once the child turns 18 or if the household income decreases.
Has your child been financially denied children’s SSI benefits? How did you handle it? Tell me in the comments.