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Continuing SSI Benefits When a Disabled Child Becomes an Adult

Posted by attorney Brenton Adams

Child disability attorneys in Dunn, North Carolina know how confusing and complicated the process can be for obtaining disability benefits. With most of these claims initially denied, it can result in applicants giving up. But speaking with an attorney who handle these types of cases can help you better understand your rights.

Children who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) could continue to receive these benefits when they become adults. However, different rules may apply.

Continuing Supplemental Security Income into Adult Years

In order for a child to continue receiving SSI as an adult, he or she will need to be reevaluated. This will be done at some point during the year of turning 18 years old.

One rule that is different concerns income and resources. As a child, SSI is based upon his or her earnings and resources, along with other family members who reside in the same household. Once the child becomes an adult, the income and resources of other family members won’t be factors.

Another rule that is different pertains to the definition of disability. The 18-year-old now would have to meet the requirements based upon adult disability rules. Attorneys can work with you to better understand some of the differences that may exist.

Supplemental Security Income Requirements for Children

This may lead you to wonder what the requirements are for a child to receive SSI. One of the factors that determine if a child qualifies is his or her income and resources. The income and resources of other family members who are living with the child are also taken into account.

Benefits will be available only if the sum of the income and resources is less than the monthly limit, which can change each year. For the year 2012, earnings must not exceed more than $1,010 each month.

If a child lives in a medical facility and health insurance pays for his or her care, the payment available is just $30. But there are other requirements in addition to income and resources.

How the Nature of the Child’s Disability Affects Income

Another factor is the nature of the child’s disability. The physical or mental medical condition that the child is diagnosed with must result in significant limitations.

These severe limitations must have been disabling for at least one year or must have an expectation to last that long. If the medical condition is terminal and it is expected to result in death, this could also qualify the child for SSI.

It can take a few months for a decision to be reached on a child’s eligibility for disability benefits. But there are some medical conditions that could allow for immediate payments, even while the claim is being reviewed.

The following are conditions that may qualify for immediate payment of SSI benefits to a child:

  • HIV;
  • deafness;
  • blindness;
  • cerebral palsy;
  • Down syndrome;
  • muscular dystrophy;
  • severe intellectual disorder of a child seven or older; and
  • birth weight less than 2 pounds, 10 ounces.

Whether you have concerns about a child qualifying for SSI or the continuation of these benefits once reaching adulthood, contact child disability attorneys in Dunn, North Carolina at (800) 849-5931.

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