People all across Atlanta rely on the benefits provided by Social Security. On this blog, we often discuss what to do when you are in a position of being disabled and need to apply for these benefits, but many people will find that they can also apply for benefits if someone else in their family is disabled.

For example, if you are a parent and have a child with serious disabilities that are expected to last at least a year, that child may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits from Social Security. This post will explore what this application process may look like and what requirements must be met in order to receive SSI.

SSI benefits differ from Social Security disability benefits in that SSI recipients do not have to have paid into Social Security through employment taxes. This is why children are eligible to receive this federal income supplement.

But just like SSDI recipients, children who may qualify for SSI benefits must meet eligibility requirements. Specifically, SSI recipients must be under 18, have limited or no resources and income, and their condition must limit or prevent them from working for at least one year. A state agency will make these determinations.

The application for these benefits can be completed online, but parents and applicants may find that the process is quite complex. Considering the fact that SSI benefits can be crucial in providing recipients and their family with money for basic and essential needs, the application process should be taken very seriously.

Many people assume that applying for SSI benefits requires little more than filling out some paperwork and waiting for approval. So, when the delays or denials come back, people can be quite surprised and disappointed. Rather than trying to navigate the intricate Social Security system alone, people who want to apply for SSI may want to opt for working through the system with the guidance of an attorney.

Source: Social Security Administration, “What You Should Know Before You Apply for SSI Disability Benefits for a Child,” accessed on Sept. 16, 2014