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What are the SSI eligibility requirements for children?

In our previous post, we discussed how those families with disabled children might be in need of extra income to help make ends meet if a parent had to forgo working in order to provide the necessary care, and how the Supplemental Security Income program may provide much-needed help in these difficult scenarios.

We also discussed how the SSI program, started back in 1974, has long proved to be a controversial subject with supporters touting its ability to rescue families in need, and its critics arguing that it is too expensive and lacking strict eligibility requirements.

In today's post, we'll explore some of these eligibility requirements.

Does the Social Security Administration take income and resources into account when determining eligibility for SSI?

Yes, a child's income and resources will be one of the eligibility requirements that must be satisfied. In fact, SSA officials will consider not just the child's income and resources, but those of family members living in the child's household as well.

It's important to note that these rules apply regardless of whether the child lives in the home, or lives away from the household at school and returns only periodically.

SSI benefits will be denied if the amount of the income and resources considered exceeds the eligibility requirements.

What requirements must a child satisfy in order to be considered disabled by the SSA?

In general, three requirements must be satisfied in order for the SSA to consider a child disabled:

  1. The child, younger than 18, must not be working and earning over $1,070 per month in 2014 (this amount threshold is typically subject to annual changes).
  2. The physical or mental condition of the child -- or some combination thereof --must produce "marked and severe functional limitations," meaning their activities must be seriously limited by their condition.
  3. The condition must either be expected to be disabling or have been disabling for a minimum of 12 months; or expected to be fatal.

SSI benefits will be denied if the child does not meet these requirements concerning disability.

Remember, if you have questions or concerns regarding disabled child benefits, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Benefits for children with disabilities: 2014," Accessed Sept. 22, 2014

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