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Social Security for Children With Developmental Disabilities

Posted on:5/21/2013
Parents of children with developmental disabilities, which by federal statue are defined as mental or physical disabilities that originated before the individual attained the age of 22, should be aware of opportunities available for these dependents.


Most developmentally disabled children are or will be eligible to receive federal and state benefits. Under current laws, a disabled individual could qualify for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, medical assistance, legal assistance, and food stamps. Speak to an experienced social security disability attorney.

 

An individual who is the child of a person covered under Social Security will also be eligible for Social Security benefits if the disability began before the age of 22. In addition, the child must be unmarried or married to another disabled child, and must be dependent upon the parent for support. The benefits will be calculated based upon the parent's earnings record.

 

However, if the child is employed, the Social Security payments will be subject to an earnings test and may be reduced by the child's earnings. Note that the child's benefits will not be reduced by his assets (i.e., inheritance, gifts, or investment earnings).

 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another Social Security program that ensures a basic level of cash income for the disabled. However, unlike Social Security, this program, like that of Medicaid, is structured based upon a person's financial needs. SSI is available to those who meet a financial eligibility test, known as an "income and resource" test. When income and resources meet a certain level, benefits cease.


  
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