The Vastness of the Law

SSI And Your Child: Facts To Consider

Social Security programs have a reputation for covering those who can no longer work and retirees. The Social Security Administration (SSA), however, has programs for people of almost all ages. One such program, Social Security Income (SSI), may be appropriate for children so read on to find out more facts.

Understanding the Financial Aspects of SSI

SSI is based on both medical (or mental) conditions and on the applicant's financial situation. To qualify, the applicant must show a need for financial assistance. That means the parents or guardians of the child must have a certain portion of their income and assets deemed available to meet the child's needs. If not enough income exists and the child has verifiable afflictions, they may be approved for benefits. Benefits are paid monthly to a special account set up specifically on the child's behalf.

Qualifying for Help

The child must qualify based on two main requirements: medically and financially. The medical qualifications are spelled out in the so-called "blue book" for children that lists impairments and the specific qualifying information for each one. The other part of the equation is a financial one. The parents or guardians of the child can only have income of a certain amount and they cannot have assets that exceed a dollar limit.

Understanding Deeming

Deeming is the name of the evaluation process the SSA uses to determine financial eligibility for children who apply for SSI. It's a complex process and is based, in part, on some of the below factors:

What Is Not Deemed

The following is exempt from deeming:

Some Additional Facts to Consider

  1. As things change in the child's (or the parent's) life, so do benefits. Benefit amounts can vary when the parent's income varies and income has to be reported each month.
  2. Other issues that can affect the monthly benefit amount is when the child moves out of the home, even if temporarily. Some brief visits with relatives have to be reported but may not affect the benefit amount.

Being approved for SSI can be difficult and applicants get turned down all the time, even when the child deserves the benefit. Speak to a Social Security attorney to find out more about dealing with an SSI denial.