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Understanding disability benefits for children


People may not always understand that the Social Security Administration offers different benefits and options other than retirement benefits that may be helpful to disabled adults and disabled children or other individuals in certain circumstances. In addition to certain dependent benefits that may be available through the SSA for children, Supplemental Security Income may also provide options for disabled children to receive disability benefits. Families with disabled children should be familiar with children's benefits.

There are different ways that children may receive disability benefits through the SSA. When a parent is receiving Social Security disability benefits, and their child is unmarried and under the age of 18, the child may also be able to receive SSD benefits. Exceptions to the requirements may be available for children in high school who are older than 18 or children who suffered their disability before age 22 for which no age limit applies. Children may receive half to the full amount of their parent's disability benefit, however, there is a family limit which may reduce the amount the child receives proportionally to remain under that limit.

Several types of benefits may be available to children through the SSA. Children may also receive disability benefits through SSI. SSI benefits are made available to disabled adults and children of limited income and resources. To qualify, children must meet disability requirements which includes suffering from a medical condition that severely limits their activities and is expected to last a year or longer or result in death. Children must also meet limited financial resources requirements which provide that their financial resources cannot exceed $2,000. While the resources of the parents are considered, certain assets such as a home, one vehicle and other resources are not included when determining financial resources for purposes of the test and qualifying for disability benefits.

SSI is an important option to be familiar with because it can provide disability benefits not based on work history which SSD benefits require. Families suffering with disabilities or with disabled children should be familiar with the benefits the SSA and SSI have to offer.

Source: The Motley Fool, "3 Ways Children Can Get Social Security Benefits," Accessed June 6, 2016

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