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A child younger than age 18 can qualify if he or she meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if his or her income and resources fall within the eligibility limits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) also considers the income and resources of family members living in the child’s household. These rules apply if your child lives at home. They also apply if he or she is away at school but returns home from time to time and is subject to your control.
If your child’s income and resources, or the income and resources of family members living in the child’s household, are more than the amount allowed, they will deny the child’s application for SSI payments. The monthly SSI payment is limited to $30 when a child is in a medical facility where health insurance pays for his or her care.
Your child must meet all of the following requirements to be considered disabled and therefore eligible for SSI:• The child must not be working and earning more than $1,000 a month in 2011. (This earnings amount usually changes every year.) If he or she is working and earning that much money, the SSA will find that your child is not disabled.
If you are applying for SSI for a child, you can complete a Child Disability Report online. Or, if you prefer not to do this report on the Internet, you can use any of the following ways to complete a Disability Report:
• Call this toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. Explain that you want to file an SSI application on behalf of a child. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the toll-free "TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. • Go to your local Social Security Office and ask to file an SSI application on behalf of the child.
You also can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to ask for an appointment with a Social Security representative.
If you are applying for SSI payments for your child, you should have his or her Social Security number and birth certificate with you when you apply. If you are applying for SSDI benefits for your child, please have your own Social Security number with you in addition to the child’s Social Security number and birth certificate. You can help the Social Security Administration make a decision by:• Telling them as much as you can about your child’s medical condition(s)
NOTE: You do not need to request information from your child’s doctors. The Social Security Administration will contact them directly for any reports or information needed to make a decision about your child’s disability. If your child is younger than age 18 and applying for SSI, you will need to provide records that show your income and resources, as well as those of your child. You will be asked to describe how your child’s disability affects his or her ability to function on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the Social Security Administration will ask for the names of teachers, day care providers and family members who can provide information about how your child functions. If you have any school records, you should bring them to the interviewIn many communities, special arrangements have been made with medical providers, social service agencies and schools to help us get the evidence needed to process your child’s claim. However, your cooperation in getting records and other information will expedite the process.
Medicaid is a health care program for people with low incomes and limited resources. In most states, children who get SSI payments qualify for Medicaid. In many states, Medicaid comes automatically with SSI eligibility. In other states, you must sign up for it. And some children can get Medicaid coverage even if they do not qualify for SSI. Check with your local Social Security office, your state Medicaid agency, or your state or county social services office for more information.
Also, when your child gets SSI, they will refer you to places where you can get health care services for your child. These services are under the Children with Special Health Care Needs provision of the Social Security Act. These programs are usually managed by state health agencies.
Yes, the Children’s Health Insurance Program enables states to provide health insurance to children from working families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to afford private health insurance. The program provides coverage for prescription drugs, vision, hearing and mental health services and is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Your state Medicaid agency can provide more information about this program, or you can get more information about coverage for your children at www.insurekidsnow.gov or by calling 1-877-543-7669.
There are also other health services that fall under the Children with Special Health Care Needs provision of the Social Security Act. These programs are usually managed by state health agencies. States call these services by many different names, including Children’s Special Health Services, Children’s Medical Services and Handicapped Children’s Program. Most Children with Special Health Care Needs programs provide services through clinics, private offices, hospital-based outpatient and inpatient treatment centers, or community agencies.
Even if your child does not get SSI, one of these programs may be able to help you. Local health departments, social service offices, or hospitals should be able to help you contact your local Children with Special Health Care Needs program.