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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Social Security Benefits for Disabled Youth

Social Security Laws also provide benefits for children below 18 years of age, who have acquired disability. A child, under the age of 18 can be eligible for such benefits if he or she meets the Social Security’s definition of disability. In addition, the child’s income as well as his or her family must fall within the eligibility limit.

Social Security considers the income and resources of the child and of the family members living in the child’s household. This rule applies when:

1. The child lives in the household; or

2. The child is always at school but returns home from time to time and is subject to the control of the parents or guardian.

For your child to be eligible and receive Supplemental Security Income or SSI benefits from Social Security, your child must be considered disabled based on the SSI program rules.

Here are the basic rules that will determine your child’s eligibility to receive SSI benefits:

1. If your child is working and earning more than $900 a month in 2007, he or she cannot be considered disabled and eligible to receive SSI benefits. Please take note that the amount of earnings changes every year.

2. Your child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means that the condition must have serious effects that limit your child’s activities.

3. Your child’s condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 months, or must be expected to result in death. If your child's limitations do not last for at least 12 months, SSI will not consider your child disabled for the purposes of being granted with SSI disability benefits.