SSI for Children
SSI(Supplemental Security Income) is the only type of benefit through Social Security in which a minor child (child under the age of 18) can qualify to receive benefits. To receive these payments, the child must meet both the medical and non-medical rules to qualify. The financial barriers are the same, both for minor children and adults who are applying for SSI. Social Security will consider the income of the entire household, including that of family members living within the home and including any income Social Security may already be paying into the household. Therefore, a child can often be found medically disabled, but not eligible to receive payments due to the income of the household.
The medical requirements for a child to receive SSI can be quite different than the medical requirements for an adult applying for SSI. For starters, children can be found disabled based on impairments in six (6) different domains. A child must have a marked impairment in at least two (2) domains or an extreme impairment in one (1) area. Marked impairment means more than the impairment(s) interferes seriously with the child’s ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete domain-related activities. Day-to-day functioning may be seriously limited when the child’s impairment(s) only one activity or when the interactive and cumulative effects of the child’s impairment(s) limit several activities. Extreme impairment means that the impairment(s) interferes very seriously with the child’s ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete domain-related activities. Day-to-day functioning may be very seriously limited when the child’s impairment(s) limits several activities. Extreme describes the worst limitations, but does not necessarily mean a total lack or loss of ability to function. The six (6) domains are as follows:
Acquiring and Using Information
This would be the ability to learn. Evidence to support this domain would be school records, special education services, counseling records, or occupational therapy records.
Attending and Completing Tasks
This would be a child’s ability to maintain pace and complete a task. Children who may have impairments in this domain usually have mental disorders.
Interacting and Relating with Others
This impairment usually begins at birth. The child would have an impairment in recognizing, understanding, and responding appropriately to behavioral cues from others.
Moving About and Manipulating Objects
This is as straight forward as it sounds. It’s a child’s ability to push, pull, lift or carry object. It may also include the ability to walk with balance or even write.
Caring for Yourself
This is not as simple as a child who won’t shower or brush his teeth. This is usually seen as the ability to self-regulate. Generally, this domain deals with children who have mental disorders or children who may have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Overall Health and Physical Well-being
This addresses recurrent illness, the need for ongoing treatment and how it affects a child’s body, and the side effects of medication. Some examples would be pain, dizziness, fatigue, or even poor growth.
The domains are a subjective scale. The basis for the impairment rating for each domain may differ, depending on who evaluated the child in these areas. Therefore, our Montgomery Social Security lawyers contact each child's teacher, daycare worker, physician, and/or other unbiased caretakers to complete a domain questionnaire. Typically a child spends more time with his or her teacher than he or she does with a parent. A parent is also considered biased for the sake of a child's SSI claim. Therefore, soliciting opinions from unbiased sources is an invaluable resource for a child's case.
Now that you have figured out if you should apply for Social Security benefits, you may be asking yourself how you apply for these benefits. Luckily the process is easy. For years we were always asked, “Why don’t you have an office near me?” To answer the “near me” question, we created office in Montgomery, Selma, Greenville, and Troy! Simply call our Montgomery Social Security lawyers or the lawyers in one of our other offices, and set an appointment to meet our team. Each case is unique! Consultations are always free at The Sellers Law Firm. Call us at 334-LAWYERS (529-9377). You may also use the “text us” link or Contact Form on our website. Doing nothing changes nothing so act today! Doing nothing, changes nothing so act today!