The government and people today, are more sensitive towards children with disabilities than ever before. There are several government policies today that focus on aiding the families of disabled children below the age of 18 along with the kids themselves. Moreover, if an adult becomes disabled prior to the age of 22, he/she can also avail these benefits.
Provision for Supplementary Security Income (SSI)
Through this provision, the government makes payments to families that have limited resources on a monthly basis. This service is even extended to people who are blind, disabled or above 65 years of age. If your kid is below 18 years of age, he/she can avail these benefits provided they suffer from a mental or physical disability or both. Moreover, their income and overall resources must also fulfil the eligibility criteria of SSI.
As per the income limitations for 2018, the child must either be unemployed or earning below $1,180 a month to avail the privileges stated above. This amount is prone to vary every year as it depends on the Consumer Price Index. Any variations in the latter directly affect the former.
Generally, it takes 6 months by the State agencies to review the primary SSI applications and to determine whether they should be granted the benefits or not. Nevertheless, if the kid is suffering from severe medical conditions, payments are made immediately. These conditions may involve cerebral palsy, HIV infection, Down syndrome, complete blindness and deafness, muscular dystrophy, a critical intellectual disability (when the child is 4 years old or older), or the weight of a newborn below 2 pounds and 10 ounces.
SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) for grownups disabled since youth
SSDI is focused on providing benefits to grownups who suffer from a disability prior to the age of 22. It is recognized as a minor’s benefit because the payment is made based on their parent’s social security incomes record. In order to avail it, either one of the adult’s parents must enjoy disability benefits or social security retirement benefits at the time of the payment. Also, once availed these benefits continue lifelong, provided the individual is disabled for that long.
In a majority of states, children that receive SSI returns are eligible for Medicaid. Moreover, this privilege is automatic in some states. However, in a few other states, one must sign up to avail them. There is also a provision for children who are not eligible for SSI benefits to avail the benefits of Medicaid. This also varies from one state to another. Therefore, it is advisable to verify the details of this service from a state Medicaid office or the local Social Security office.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
This is a special program that allows different states to give health insurance to working families of disabled children that have an annual income extremely high to be eligible for Medicaid, yet too low to get a private health insurance plan. However, since criteria vary for different states it is advisable to contact the state Medicaid agencies for the same.