Most people think of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits when they think of federal disability compensation. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) also administers a secondary disability benefits program.
Unlike SSDI, which is only available to those who have worked for long enough to make appropriate contributions to social security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits do not require an extensive work history for someone to make a claim.
If you have a disabled child who has never worked or who only ever worked a few weeks at a part-time job, could you apply for SSI benefits as their parent or guardian?
Yes, SSI benefits are available for children
The SSA does recognize that children and others who have never worked could require financial support.
Provided that child in question has a medical condition severe enough that they require extra care or support and the condition will persist for at least 12 months, they may be eligible for SSI benefits.
Is applying for SSI worth it?
There are those who will quickly tell you that SSI and SSDI do not pay enough to support disabled people and their families. That perspective is very short-sighted. Even if the benefits may leave you with uncovered costs, having some reliable income is better than none at all.
Especially in situations where a parent has leave their job, change job responsibilities or reduce the number of hours worked to support their child, SSI benefits can be valuable to a family. You will need medical documentation and likely assistance with the application process if you hope to claim SSI benefits for your child with a disabling medical condition.
Some families need to appeal because they don’t get the benefits they require right away when they first apply. Despite the effort involved and the length of time that it may require, applying or appealing for SSI benefits can be a smart move for a family trying to accommodate the needs of a child with a serious medical condition.
Learning more about the difference Social Security benefits available, like SSI for children, can help families better support themselves when medical issues affect family budgets and employment opportunities.