What is the Definition of a Disabled Child?
To be considered as a disabled child for SSI, the child must be under age 18 and:
- Have a physical and/or mental condition(s) expected to last at least 12 months or to end in death
- Have a condition that can be medically proven and results in marked and severe functional limitation
- Is not capable of performing "substantial work" (more than $1,000 per month)
Some of the most common disabilities in children under age 18 receiving SSI include mental disorders, developmental disabilities, nervous, respiratory and blood diseases.
Will a Disabled Child Qualify for SSI?
This depends on:
- Limited income of disabled child and parent(s) in household
- Limited resources of disabled child and parent(s) in household
- Living arrangements
What is Meant by Limited Income and Resources?
The income and resources of the child as well as the family members, including step-parents, living in the household are considered. "Limited income" includes work, unemployment benefits, cash from friends or relatives and gifts. "Limited resources" are things that are owned and includes cash, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, with the total resources not to be above $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. The process of determining how much of the parents income and resources is looked at is called "deeming" and this is considered until the child's 18th birthday.
How are Living Arrangements Considered?
SSI benefits may vary depending on whether a child lives in someone else's household, in group care or in an institution. Monthly benefits may be adjusted.
What Happens When a Disabled Child Reaches Age 18?
A child who could not receive SSI benefits due to the family's income and resources being too high, may now be eligible because only the individual's income and resources are considered. It is important to have very limited income and resources in the child's name. Resources that are part of a Special Needs Trust will not be included. In addition, the child must now qualify as a disabled adult. The child can apply for SSI the month he or she turns 18. If the child continues to live with parents, but does not pay for food or shelter, lower SSI payments might be received.
What is the Definition of a Disabled Adult?
To be considered as a disabled adult for SSI, the individual must be age 18 or older and:
- Have a physical or mental condition(s) that is severe enough to prevent "substantial gainful activity" (more than $1000 per month)
- Have a condition(s) expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
- Age, education and work experience are considered (if applicable)
What are Compassionate Allowances?
Compassionate allowances are a way of providing benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that they obviously meet disability standards. You can find a list of conditions that qualify for quick financial assistance.
How Can SSI Help?
Individuals who qualify for SSI typically also qualify for Medicaid. In Ohio and Indiana, you must first apply for SSI before submitting a separate application for Medicaid. In Kentucky, you can apply for both programs at the same time.
Can A Child Still Qualify for Medicaid if SSI is Denied?
If SSI is denied for a non-medical reason, such as being above the income limit, Medicaid may make its own determination based on the nature and severity of the disability. An individual may qualify for a Medicaid waiver.