Most all just naturally associate Social Security disability benefits with people that cannot work at their jobs, but there is another category of recipients to consider. Children under the age of 18 who qualify are also eligible for benefits. With this form of Social Security, the family's income is a prime consideration in addition to the medical or mental condition of the child. Read on to learn more about this special program that covers young disability applicants.
The Income of the Family
There are two main qualifiers to getting benefits: income and condition. Your income must pass the test first, then the medical or mental condition is evaluated. The parents or guardians of the child must submit (and prove) their monthly income, a process that is known by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as deeming. In other words, a certain amount of the total family income is "deemed" available to care for the child, and that amount must be under a certain limit to get the help of the SSA.
The income alone is not the sole factor when it comes to deeming; the total number of people residing in the same household is also considered. If some already receive government assistance, that is also considered. The income can be reduced to help qualify by deducting certain forms of assistance and other expenses. For example, the following forms of income are not counted toward deeming:
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps)
- TANP (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)
- Veterans pensions
- Foster care payments for any child, including the applicant
The property of the parents or guardian are also looked at. The family home and car is exempt from deeming, but investment and retirement accounts, savings accounts, second homes and cars and more are considered property that can be deemed available to care for the child.
Month to Month Changes
Just as with all forms of Social Security, income is monitored on a monthly basis. Each month, the parent or guardian must let the SSA know how much income was earned and whether or not the child was residing in the home the entire month. There are some absences that will not reduce the benefit amount, but if the child is spending a lot of time out of the residence, the benefits may be reduced or stopped altogether. In general, if the child is just temporarily visiting a friend or relative, the benefit amount is unchanged. As long as the child returns home for vacations and holidays, they may attend a boarding school without a change in benefit, as well.
Getting Social Security benefits can be a huge challenge, and a denial is not uncommon. If you have been denied, speak to a social security disability lawyer services and get support for your appeal hearing.