Caring for a child with special needs can be costly. Whether a child was diagnosed with a disability at birth or acquired during childhood, this situation is not only challenging for the child, but also their family. It is likely that accommodations will be required in their daily life. This could look like alterations to a home and a vehicle. This can also look like hiring a medical assistant, going through various medical treatments and daily medications.
How can Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits help with the care of special needs children? For many parents in Florida, caring for a child with special needs means looking at a seven-figure bill when it comes to the lifetime cost of care.
This can be shocking and startling for families, especially if funds are tight and nothing has been done to plan for this situation. While a special needs trust is an effective way to address the ongoing costs associated with caring for a child with disabilities, most parents have to rely on Social Security Disability benefits.
Because children have yet to obtain employment or collect the necessary work credits to enjoy the benefits of SSD, children with disabilities rely on financial resources through Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This SSD program, along with Medicaid, can be resourceful. In fact, it is often what helps a family meet their medical and basic living needs while caring for a child with disabilities.
In order to be eligible for SSI benefits and Medicaid, applicants are subject to the means testing. This means that a family’s income must be under a certain threshold. For those approved of SSI benefits, this looks like an individual receives a maximum of $735 a month and a couple or family receiving a maximum of $1,103 a month.
Disabilities present challenges, and for those families with children living with disabilities, the costs associated with their care can seem endless. But, there are resources available through SSD. Those seeking to apply for these benefits or appeal a denial should take the time to understand their situation and how best to move forward.
Source: Cnbc.com, “It can take millions to care for your special needs child. Here’s how to do it,” Darla Mercado, June 2, 2017