We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

What to Do When Children Face Chronic Illness

Children diagnosed with critical medical conditions and chronic illnesses often suffer a lot. The disability can affect their schooling and ability to function normally in everyday life. It can also create serious difficulties for parents and can be daunting if they have low income and limited resources. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA), in accordance with federal law, provides benefits to children living with disabilities. Here, we have provided a handy guide that will help you understand how your child can qualify for benefits. We have outlined many of the major aspects of available programs and attempted to anticipate questions that you may have in your mind related to Social Security Benefits For Children

To establish entitlement to disability benefits, your child must meet the eligibility criteria set by the Social Security Administration. The basic criteria is as follows: 

  • The child must have a physical or mental condition or conditions that seriously limits his or her activities; and
  • The condition or conditions must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or will result in death.
  • In addition, the SSA may also consider your financial income. Your income must fall below the requisite threshold limitations to qualify for benefits. The parent’s income with whom the child is living will be considered to calculate the financial resources of the family. 

Aside from these qualifications, you will have to provide medical documentation for your child. You will have to provide evidence to support the claim that your child is suffering from a disabling medical condition. 

Medical condition requirements

There are two ways you to be successful on a claim for benefits:

  • Meeting criteria listed in the SSA’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments; or
  • Functionally equalling the listings
  1. Meeting the disability listing – The SSA has listed various conditions in its Blue Book Listing of Impairments. You can refer to the Blue Book to check whether the condition is listed or not. If the condition is listed and the child meets the eligibility requirement, they will automatically get approved for benefits. You will just have to provide medical documents and evidence to support the claim. When a medical condition is listed, it is generally easier to get approved for benefits. Depending on the situation, you may be able to apply for Short Term Disability from a state agency or your employer as well. If you are experiencing a disabling condition for a short or temporary period of time that might not qualify you for SSA benefits, you may have alternative options.
  2. Functionally meeting the listings – If a child does not meet the criteria or the requirements noted in the listings, parents or guardians can consider obtaining an exam to determine whether the child is functionally equivalent to the criteria. Under this option, the Social Security Administration will consider the child’s ability to perform in six main areas of functioning. They may consider whether the child has marked limitations in two functionalities or extreme impairment in one area of functionality. SSA considers the following aspects to determine the child’s functional abilities:
  • Ability to acquire and utilize the information
  • Ability to attend to and complete desired tasks on time
  • Ability to interact and socialize 
  • Ability to move around
  • Health and physical well being
  • Ability to engage in self care

The factors above will be evaluated to determine how the disability is limiting a child’s ability to live and function effectively. 

Apply After Obtaining Complete Information

The process of evaluating disability begins after you complete the application form and submit all of the evidence. Here are the steps that you should follow to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your child. 

Step 1: Fill out an online application form 

To begin the disability claim process, you will first have to complete your child’s disability report. The report will ask for basic details related to lifestyle and medical conditions. You must ensure that the information is filled out correctly and that there are no errors on the form. Even minor errors can lead to a denial of benefits. If you are denied, you may either have to appeal or start over again. 

Step 2: The SSA officials will contact you

After filling out the form, you may get a call from SSA representatives. They may ask questions and for more details regarding your child’s disability. The authorities will ask you to sign a waiver form that will give your child’s doctor permission to provide information to SSA regarding the disability. Your application will then be reviewed and considered for SSI. 

You can either fill out the report by calling the SSA at their toll-free number or by visiting the local Social Security Office. You may have to wait for a period of three to five months to receive a decision on the claim. The SSA may even contact you with a few additional questions as the process continues. You must cooperate and provide them with all the required information.

It is always better to consult an Attorney for Social Security Disability before taking additional steps, including submitting the form. He can help you with  filling out the form accurately, submitting all valid documents, and anything else you need.