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Social Security reviews of children's disability benefits

This blog has spent some time recently discussing a number of issues related to the important topic of children and disability benefits. In addition to the importance of understanding how to apply for benefits, how to appeal a denial of benefits and what the application process entails, there are a few additional details, such as the periodic review process, that are important to be familiar with because of how important disability benefits for children can be for many families.

For children receiving Supplemental Security Income, it is important to be aware that the Social Security Administration periodically reviews the child's medical condition to determine if they are still eligible to receive SSI disability benefits. The SSA reviews eligibility for benefits every three years for children under the age of 18 who have a disability that is expected to improve. Reviews are also scheduled for children under 1-year-old who are receiving SSI because of low birth weight.

Reviews may also be conducted even if the child's medical condition is not expected to improve. When a review is being conducted, the child's parents are required to provide evidence that the child's daily activities are still severely limited by the child's disability and that the child is receiving medical treatment that is considered medically necessary for the medical condition they suffer from.

Once a child turns 18, their continuing eligibility for disability benefits is reviewed according to the adult requirements for eligibility for disability benefits which does not include the income and resources of family members when determining eligibility for disability. Specific rules apply for adults disabled since childhood so it is helpful to understand those rules as well.

As always, it is best to provide as thorough of information as possible when applying for Social Security disability benefits under any program or category. SSI benefits may be available for children suffering from a variety of medical conditions including mental retardation, learning disabilities and autism which is why it can be essential for families with a disabled child to understand the Social Security disability process.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Benefits for Children with Disabilities," Accessed Sept. 26, 2016

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