In New York, children may qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits if they suffer from a disabling condition. For example, a disabled child may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits if they have an HIV infection, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, total blindness, deafness or a severe intellectual disorder.
SSI payments are made monthly to children under the age of 18 who qualify under the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. In addition to disability requirements, children must also meet certain income and resource qualifications.
During the application process, the income and resources of any family members living in the household of the child are considered. These requirements apply if the child lives at home or if they go away for school for certain periods of time but eventually returns and is subject to a family member’s control. If the income and resources of the child or their family members are greater than the amount allowed, they will be denied SSI benefits.
To qualify for SSI payments, a child must meet all of the following disability requirements:
If a child does not meet these three requirements, the SSA will not consider the child to be disabled.
A state agency will decide whether or not a child is eligible to receive these benefits. To make this decision, they will take into account the above-listed factors as well as the child’s access to income and resources. Information provided by medical professionals, schools and other people who know the child will also be considered. If the information is not enough for the state agency to make a decision, they may require the child to take a test or undergo an examination.
After a disabled child starts to receive benefits, the SSA will conduct routine reviews of the child’s medical condition to ensure he is still disabled. According to the SSA, these reviews must be done approximately every three years for children who are under the age of 18 and suffer from a condition that may improve over time. For babies receiving benefits due to low birth weight, a review must be done by their first birthday unless it is believed that their condition will not improve.
However, children who live with a condition that is not expected to improve may also have to go through these regular reviews. In this situation, the child’s guardian must provide evidence that the child is receiving medical care necessary for their condition.
Detailed medical evidence often heavily impacts whether or not a child is able to keep receiving benefits after undergoing the review process. Parents or guardians concerned about an upcoming review may benefit from working with an attorney who can anticipate which medically relevant documents will be needed and helpful to ensure the review process is successful.
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