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What disability benefits are available to children?

Children are often the pride and joy of their parents. Florida parents will go to great lengths to make sure their children have everything they need to be happy, healthy and safe. In some situations, however, children are facing special needs that require a lot of specialized care. Parents in these situations may feel overwhelmed with the physical and financial needs of a child.

In these cases, your child may qualify for Supplemental Security Income. SSI payments will allow your child to receive some income to help with their care. However, children must qualify as disabled in order to be eligible for these payments.

According to the Social Security Administration, your child must meet three requirements to prove disability status. First, the child cannot earn more than $1,070 a month. Second, the child must have physical or mental conditions that result in a marked and severe functional limitations. Third, the child's condition must be expected to last at least 12 months. Children can only receive disability benefits once the SSA has determined that they meet each of these qualifications.

However, if your child has been diagnosed with certain disabilities -- including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, HIV, total blindness or deafness, muscular dystrophy or a severe intellectual disorder -- then the child can receive benefits right away. A child can also receive immediate benefits if they have a birth weight under two pounds, 10 ounces.

Qualifying for SSI or SSDI can be complicated for a disabled child, therefore this blog post cannot provide specific legal advice. However, with the right help, disabled children can receive income they need to help cover some of the costs associated with their disability.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Benefits For Children With Disabilities," accessed Aug. 31, 2014

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