Applying For Ssi On Behalf Of A Child With Special Needs
Often times when a child has special needs, one of the parents decides to leave the workplace in order to tend to the needs of the child. When this happens, the family is left with only one income, which can make it very hard to get by financially. Between medical bills and the lack of two incomes, a financial situation can quickly become dire. Fortunately, in some cases, Social Security Disability benefits known as Supplemental Security Income can help offset some of this financial strain.
At What Age Can A Child Get A Social Security Card And How Do They Apply
There is no minimum age for a child to get a Social Security card. The simplest way to get an SSN and Social Security card for your child is to apply for it immediately after they are born. You can request an SSN while filling out the information for their birth certificate. However, if you did not register your child for an SSN at birth, its not too late.
If you are a minor, you can apply for an SSN independently. You do not have to get a parents signature or permission. However, children 12 and up have to go to the Social Security Administration office in person for an interview. Even if a parent is applying on their behalf. You can use our handy office locator to find the nearest SSA office. If you already registered your child for an SSN, but their card was lost or damaged, you can apply for a replacement. The process and requirements are the same in both situations.
How Children Qualify For Social Security Benefits
Children who are eligible can collect Social Security benefits based on a parent’s work record. The parent must have earned enough Social Security credits. Biological or adopted children or stepchildren can be eligible for Social Security benefits if they meet the following criteria:
- Have a parent who is disabled or retired and eligible for Social Security benefits
- Are unmarried
- Are younger than 18 or up to age 19 if they are full-time high school students.
- Are 18 or older and disabled
The requirements for Social Security survivor benefits are similar, except that the parent must be deceased for the child to qualify.
Grandchildren or step-grandchildren can sometimes collect survivor benefits under certain circumstances.
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After You Apply For Social Security Benefits
Your application will be reviewed by Disability Determination Services . DDS is an office within the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services . Even though Social Security is a federal program and makes the final eligibility decisions, DDS helps the Social Security Administration process your application. Someone from DDS will likely contact you to tell you whether your application was successful, or to get more information. If you have already filed a disability claim with Social Security, you can contact DDS at 512-437-8000 or 1-800-252-7009 for information or questions concerning your claim.
For more details, download What You Should Know Before You Apply for SSI Disability Benefits for a Child .
A Child May Be Eligible For Benefits Based On A Parent’s Work Record
Social Security is usually associated with monthly payments to retirees. But there is another important facet to Social Security benefitsproviding financial assistance to children. Children may qualify for benefits if a parent is retired, disabled, or diseased.
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Social Security Benefits For Children: The 4 Most Important Things You Should Know
Social Security benefits for children are a big deal. In January 2017, there were more than 4.2 million children receiving Social Security benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased. These benefit payments to children total more than $2.6 billion every month.
Sadly, many children dont get the benefits for which they are eligible. Most people dont know about the qualifications and rules for this special benefit, so they dont know to apply for the children in their lives.
Preparing For The Application Process
If you want to increase your childs chances of being approved for SSI benefits, you need to properly prepare for the application process. Prior to applying for benefits for your child, you need to gather copies of your childs medical records. Clinical histories, treatment histories, and lab results should all be provided to the SSA when applying for benefits so you should ensure that you have copies of these records ready prior to submitting your application. You should also try to obtain written statements from your childs treating physicians. In addition to medical records, you should also gather financial records such as bank statements and paycheck stubs to prove your childs financial eligibility for SSI benefits. Once you have all of the medical and financial records gathered and organized and you understand the Blue Book listing of the condition that your child qualifies under, you can move forward and apply for benefits for your child.
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Strategy: Why Filing Early For Retirement Benefits Could Be Best
Unfortunately, you dont get much of a say so as to when you file for survivors benefits or disability benefits. But you DO get to decide when to apply for your retirement benefits. For a household with children, the decision when to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is just more complicated. The penalty for not understanding the rules and the resulting difference in lifetime benefits can be enormous.
In many cases, there are many reasons to delay filing for social security benefits. But not all cases are the same! If you have kids at home, and are thinking about filing for Social Security, filing early could make more sense. Why? Your children cannot collect a Social Security benefit until you file.
Consider the difference in lifetime benefit amounts for a couple with the following circumstances.
Roger is 62 and his wife is 46. They have two kids at home, ages 8 & 10. Roger is financially well off enough to stop working and can be flexible on what age he begins to collect Social Security.
If Roger waits until his full retirement age, hell get $2,000 per month. If he files now, hell only get $1,500 per month. He ran the numbers and figured out that if he lived to 90, hed receive an additional $70,000 in benefits for delaying filing until 66 instead of filing at 62.
Fill Out The Application
The form is called Form SS-5. Fill it out, print it, and put all documentation with it. Keep in mind that you will need to provide all documents along with the application. Photocopies of these documents will not be accepted only the originals. If youre worried about keeping copies, keep in mind that all documents will be mailed back to you along with your new Social Security card.
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Ssa Conducts Thorough Reviews
SSA takes pains to ensure that only the most severely impaired applicants qualify for and remain eligible for benefits. Before a childs application is finalized, many undergo quality reviews by the agency to check the accuracy of the disability examiners decision. Once a child qualifies, SSA reviews his or her eligibility regularly: for low birth-weight babies, by age 1 for children whose medical impairments are likely to improve, at least every three years and for all children, at age 18. The adult receiving SSI payments on the childs behalf usually a parent must provide medical evidence and bring the child to a consultative examination if requested. These continuing disability reviews end benefits for over half of low-birth-weight infants, for about one-quarter of other SSI children, and for over 40 percent of those still receiving benefits at age 18.
SSA conducts these frequent reviews and often discontinues benefits because disability among children can be fluid, especially as treatments advance. For example, an increasing number of profoundly deaf children receive cochlear implants, which may improve their hearing, and many more children survive cancer than did a generation ago. When childrens health improves, parents are better able to work longer hours to support their families, so they no longer need SSI.
SSI, Medicaid, and Special Education Play Complementary Roles
Individuals Applying For An Original Social Security Card
If for some reason you need to apply for an original social security card, the process is going to be much different. Anyone who is over 12 years of age and never had an original Social Security number on record will be required to appear in-person for an interview where they will be asked to show evidence that they dont have a current number. For individuals who lived in another country for an extended period of time, passports, school records, employment records, and documents that prove long-term residence outside of the United States can be used as proof. For individuals who have lived in the United States but are applying for a number, school and tax records can be used to prove that they were never assigned a number.
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Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary
You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.
Benefits For Surviving Spouses
Survivor benefits are available to widows or widowers, based on their late spouses earnings record. To receive these benefits, the surviving spouse must be at least 60 years old, or 50 if disabled.
A younger widow or widower can also be eligible for survivor benefits if they are caring for a child of the deceased worker who is under the age of 16 or disabled and receiving dependent benefits based upon their late parents earnings record.
Survivors who have reached their normal retirement age can receive 100% of their deceased spouses benefit. For survivors who are at least 60, the benefit ranges from 71.5% to 99.6% of their deceased spouses benefit.
The survivor has some additional options. For example, a 60-year-old spouse could apply for survivor benefits now and then switch to a retirement benefit based on their own work history at age 62 , if that would result in a higher monthly payment.
Social Security will also provide a one-time lump-sum payment of $255 upon the death of a spouse, provided the spouses were living in the same residence at the time of the spouse’s death.
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Ssi Reduces Childhood Poverty And May Improve Adult Prospects
Families caring for children with disabilities are more likely than other families with the same level of income to face material hardships, such as struggling to put food on the table, being forced out of their homes, having their electricity shut off, or going without the medical care they need. The modest income SSI provides doesnt solve all of these problems, but it does reduce the struggles of these vulnerable families. A stable source of income to pay for housing, for example, may prevent a child from having to leave his or her community and school, an upheaval that can be especially challenging for a child with special needs. Conversely, financial insecurity can pose additional challenges for children with disabilities. For example, children with special needs often require special diets, which raises their food costs and makes them more vulnerable than other children to the harmful effects of food insecurity.
What Social Security Is And Who It Is For
Social Security is a federal program that provides monthly income and health insurance coverage to eligible children.
Supplemental Security Income pays monthly benefits to children with disabilities from families who have limited income and resources.
Social Security Disability Insurance pays monthly benefits to children with disabilities from families with a family member who worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
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How Much Do Children Receive In Social Security Benefits
A child may receive a Social Security benefit equal to 50% of the parents full retirement benefit or disability benefit. If the parent is deceased, the child is eligible to receive up to 75% of the parents full retirement benefit.
There is a limit to the total amount that a family can receive from Social Security based on one worker’s earnings record, though. The maximum family benefit typically ranges from 150% to 180% of the parent’s full benefit amount. That is the formula for maximum family benefits based on a retired parent’s work record. If the parent is disabled, a different formula applies.
If the amount due the entire family surpasses the maximum, some individual payments will be proportionately reduced. As an example, consider a retiree named June, who has a dependent child, Ruth, who is also eligible for benefits. June’s full retirement amount is $1,500, and her family maximum is $2,300. June would receive her full $1,500 per month, while her spouse, John, and daughter Ruth would split the remaining $800 payment, each receiving $400.
SSI benefits are determined by a different calculation, and the maximum benefit changes each year. Some states also supplement SSI. In addition, a disabled child who collects SSI may also be eligible for Medicaid to help pay for medical bills.
Documents Needed To Apply For A Childs Social Security Card
To get a new SSN or replacement card, you will need to fill out the SSAs Application for a Social Security Card. You will also need original documents proving the applicants U.S. citizenship, age, and identity. If you are a parent applying on your childs behalf, you will have to prove your own identity and that you are their parent. Submitted documents need to be valid, unexpired originals.
Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries
You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.
How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
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Understanding If Your Child Medically Qualifies For Ssi
In addition to meeting financial requirements in order to be eligible for SSI benefits, your child must also meet the medical eligibility criteria of the SSI program. According to the Social Security Administration, a child is only determined to be disabled if:
- The child has a physical or mental condition that very seriously limits his or her activities and
- The condition has lasted or is expected to last at least 1 year or result in death.
In addition, the SSA publishes a list of disabling conditions that could qualify a child for Social Security Disability benefits. This publication is known as the Blue Book . In addition to listing all of the conditions that could qualify an individual for Social Security Disability benefits, the publication also lists all of the criteria that must be met in order to qualify under each individual listing. Prior to applying for benefits for your child, you should research the Blue Book listing that your child will qualify under. This will help you understand how the SSA will determine whether or not your child is eligible for benefits and what medical evidence you should furnish along with your childs application for benefits.
Ssi Eligibility For Children
Children under age 18 can get SSI if they meet Social Securitys definition of disability for children and there are limited income and resources in the household. Social Security defines a disability as:
- The child must have a physical or mental condition that very seriously limits his or her activities and
- The condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death. A state agency makes the disability decision. They review the submitted information. They will also ask for information from medical and school sources and other people familiar with the childs condition.
If the state agency needs more information, they may arrange an examination or test for the child, which SSA will pay for.
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Are Kids With Learning Disabilities Eligible For Social Security Benefits
When your child is diagnosed with a developmental disorder or learning disorder, you may wonder how you can best support them as they grow throughout childhood and prepare for adulthood. Depending on your familys financial circumstances and the extent of your childs disabilities, they may qualify for Supplemental Security Income. This program, managed by the SSA, provides funds to be used for a childs housing, food, medical expenses, and other needs.
If your child has a learning disability, learn more about SSI and the programs requirements. Take the first step in your application by calling Walton Law at 251-455-5819.