Special Needs Children and Social Security Benefits

Social Security Administration

Parents of special needs children face more challenges in terms of care, insurance coverage and financial issues. The Social Security Administration offers two programs that provide additional resources: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These benefits are available for children from birth to 18 years old, who meet the definition of disability.

  • The disability must be expected (or has lasted) for a year, or will result in death.
  • The child’s income and resources are very limited.
  • Family resources are factored in.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These benefits are paid for adult disabled individuals, based on a parent’s social security benefits.

  • Benefits paid are for adults who have been disabled before age 22.
  • The benefit is considered a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings.
  • A parent must be receiving Social Security or disability benefits.
  • A parent must have died and worked long enough to be eligible.
  • The benefit is received by the disabled adult as long as the disability remains.

If you have a special needs child, check out our book, Planning for YourSpecial Needs Child. It will show you the ropes and provide additional resources to help you get the best resources available to help you meet your child’s needs. You can also check out Social Security Administration resources at: www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf and http://www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits_child_eng.htm

Susan G. Parker, Esq.

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