Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for children and thousands of children, under the age of 20, are diagnosed with cancer each year. Cancer can have a devastating impact on its victims and their family members. The Supplemental Security Income program provides disability benefits for children suffering from some types of cancer and other disabling diseases. The benefits may provide much needed help with the costs of treating an illness such as cancer and caring for a child with a serious disease.

SSI may be available for children with limited income and resources. To begin with, it is necessary to apply for SSI. A Child Disability Report must also be completed concerning the disabling condition the child suffers from and how it impacts the child’s ability to function. Supplemental Security Income is needs based so there is a limit on the income and assets the child and the child’s parents can have to qualify.

As part of the application, medical records from the child’s doctor will be required. It is important to note that under Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances program some medical conditions are considered so severe that they immediately qualify for disability benefits and may qualify for expedited application processing. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of medical conditions referred to as qualifying conditions for disability, however, it may be possible to obtain disability benefits based on a medical condition not on the list.

Disability benefits are based on the existence of a medical condition but are based on additional considerations such as financial factors as well. Because disability benefits are available for those most in need, including children’s benefits, it is important to understand how to apply for, and obtain, benefits.

Source: The Jackson County Times-Journal, “Social Security Column: Social Security covers children battling cancer,” Marcus Geiger, Sept. 6, 2016