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Eligibility requirements for SSD benefits for children

When disabilities are congenital or acquired in a person's youth, this can be challenging for the children and their parents. While the child's condition is not currently preventing them from working, it does add costs to the household, and it can also make it difficult for a parent to maintain a full-time job. In these cases, there are Social Security Disability options for children, and these benefits can provide financial assistance for the child and their loved ones.

Disability benefits are available for disabled children under the age of 18, through the Social Security Administration. Because the child has not earned work credits yet, he or she will be able to seek benefits through the SSA's Supplemental Security Income program. While SSI is available for both adults and children, in order to qualify for this program, applicants must prove that they meet the requirements of a listed disability.

SSI eligibility is based on both income and resources. Because most children under the age of 18 do not have an income, the SSA considers the income and other resources available within their household in general. This is assuming that the child lives at home. Generally, the more income and resources that a household has, the less the child's SSI benefits will be.

The SSA considers four types of income when assessing an applicant's SSI eligibility. These include: earned income; unearned income, such as state disability payments, unemployment benefits, interest and other forms of income that are not compensatory; in-kind income, which is food and shelter provided for free or at a discount; and deemed income, which is based on a portion of a guardian or parent's income that a child resides with.

In order for a child to be considered disabled and eligible for disability benefits, he or she must not be working. In addition, the child must have a mental or physical condition that causes a marked and severe functional limitation and this condition must be disabling, expected to be disabling for 12 continuous months or is expected to result in the child's death.

It is not easy for anyone at any age to live with a disabling condition. Parents of children in the Kissimmee area who are disable should understand what resources are available and what steps applicants must go through to collect SSD benefits.

Source: FindLaw, "Social Security Benefits for Disabled Children," accessed April 23, 2017

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