Dedicated Accounts for Childhood SSI Benefits
So, you've filed an application for Supplemental Security Income for your disabled child, your child has been approved for benefits, and you've met the income requirements. This is great news! However, it's important to know how you can spend that money. As your child's payee, you are responsible for making sure that the money he or she receives from SSI is spent properly. Each monthly check must be spent on things that provide for the child's wellbeing, and that can have a pretty broad definition, including school supplies, clothing, and food. But what about the past due benefits? The answer is different and it's important to know the rules:
If your child receives a large amount of past due benefits, the money has to go into a dedicated account in your child's name. You can't mix any money in with other benefits, including the monthly SSI check. Your bank should be able to help you open this type of account. In addition, this money must be used for very specific things:
1. Medical treatment AND
2. Education or job skill training.
In certain situations, you may also be able to use the money for in-home care for your child, special equipment, housing modification, therapy, or legal fees incurred in winning the SSI claim. In special situations, you may be able to receive permission to purchase school aids, such as a computer, for your child, if you can show that a computer would help improve one of your child's medical impairments (for example, a learning disability).
If you have questions about what you can spend from the dedicated account, it's important to ask Social Security for clarification, because YOU are responsible for accounting how the money is spent. Therefore, you should keep receipts, bank statements, and a personal record of how you spent the money.
If you have any questions about whether your disabled child may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits, call Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. at 251-343-1111 today and talk with our experienced disability attorneys and staff.