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Supplemental Security Income and children

Any of our readers who are familiar with previous posts here probably know that in order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits a person usually needs to have a history of employment. That is not the case for Supplemental Security Income. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, as it is more commonly referred to, can be awarded to a person who does not have a significant employment history. That is why children can qualify for SSI benefits, but only disabled or blind children. So, how does the SSI program work for children?

First and foremost, it is important to establish that for the purposes of applying for SSI benefits, a "child" is considered to be a person under the age of 18. However, a person under the age of 22 can be considered a child if that person is attending school regularly. There is no minimum age to qualify for SSI benefits.

From there, the process of qualifying for SSI benefits is actually somewhat similar to qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits. The child must have a medical condition that results in long-term disability, which means longer than a year. Evidence of the disability must be medical in nature and must be included with the application for benefits.

In many cases a parent or guardian will have access to the SSI benefits if the child is severely disabled. These would usually be the same people who would be submitting the application for benefits on behalf of the disabled child.

SSI funds can be crucial when taking care of a disabled child. Parents in the Los Angeles area who have children that are blind or disabled should research their legal options for securing benefits.

Source: SSA.gov, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children," Accessed May 20, 2015

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