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Understanding how children are eligible for SSI benefits

New Jersey residents who have a child who is blind or disabled will undoubtedly understand the difficulties with the situation. It is not easy to care for a child who is suffering from disabilities. Fortunately, these children might be able to get Supplemental Security Income. For people who are considering applying for SSI benefits, it is imperative to understand how the Social Security Administration defines a child, how the program works, and what the criteria is. Another important aspect is deeming, which was covered in a previous post.

The SSA defines a child as someone who is not married and is not the head of a household and is under age 18, or under age 22 and regularly attending school. The determination of eligibility for SSI regarding children requires that they be either blind or disabled. The child might be eligible for SSI from the time they are born as there is no minimum age for which they can be considered eligible. The child could be eligible for SSI until turning 18. Once the child reaches age 18, the impairments will be evaluated in the context of adult disability to see if they should continue. If the child is visually impaired, they might be eligible for SSI due to blindness if they meet the requirements for blindness.

Regarding criteria for a blind or disabled child, they must have a medically determinable mental or physical impairment or series of impairments that lead to a marked and severe limitation in functionality. The impairment must have lasted or be expected to last a minimum of 12 consecutive months or be expected to end in death. The definition of blindness does not change whether it is for children or adults.

Parents who have a blind or disabled child should know that SSI benefits are an option to help them make ends meet and care for the child. Having legal assistance from an attorney who understands how to help disabled individuals get the SSI benefits they need can be key. A lawyer who is experienced in Supplemental Security Income should be contacted as soon as possible.

Source: ssa.gov, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) For Children," accessed on Feb. 5, 2018

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