My story titled: “Brooklyn’s Autism Diagnosis” talks about the first steps I took in getting her diagnosed. The biggest question then was what is next. The doctor at Children’s Village gave me many flyers talking about what services thru the state and government may be available. The list was very detailed and hard to know, where to start, so I took the stack home, did research galore, and came up with what worked best for me.
What are the benefit of applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSI provides monthly cash payments to help meet the basic needs of children who have a physical or mental disability or who are blind. This money is kind of like an adult that has a disability and is receiving financial support. As an adult you would receive funding through the Social Security Administration. And as a Parent of a child or teenager with a disability you also may qualify for assistance but is based on the household (Parents) income and resources and is called Supplemental Security Income. If approved, a family could receive around $750 per month that can be spent on any of your child’s or family’s daily living needs.
Financial limitations are the top reason why children with autism are denied SSI benefits. The good news is that once your child turns 18, he or she will likely qualify for SSI regardless of whether your child is still living at home. Once a child is 18 the SSA no longer counts parents’ income when determining SSI thresholds.
Current income limits as of 9/27/2021 are as follows: Single parents may collect SSI for their eligible children with unearned income as high as $1,998 a month. Two-parent households may qualify with up to $2,390 in unearned income. Parents with earned income may earn up to $3,649 a month for single parents with one eligible child, or $4,433 for two-parent households. If your income is above the low limit then the monthly payment will adjust lower until it zero’s out. The maximum current 2021 income to for 2 parents is $4,433.00 a month. If you have any question about income eligibility then apply and go from there. What does it hurt!
On top of the financial assistance the SSI program will also, in most states cover medical assistance (Medicaid) to help pay for other health costs. A child on Medicaid will have more access to services than most medical plans. I have had no problem with good referrals to get all Brooklyn’s cost’s covered and all services needed.
Next Big Question Is, What would qualify the child to receive this funding?
The Social security administration uses its own medical guide, known as the Blue Book, when determining if someone is eligible for benefits. Autism is listed as a qualifying condition in the Childhood Blue Book. To be eligible for SSI, your child must have medical documentation of the following:
- Measurable deficits in verbal and non verbal communication, as well as deficits in social interactions, AND repetitive patters of behavior, interests, or activities
Additionally, the child must have “extreme” limitation in one, or noticeable limitations in any two of the following criteria:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Interacting with others (taking directions, playing with other children, etc.)
- Concentrating and completing tasks or controlling emotions
If after reviewing the above information you feel like you fit in this circle then click the link below to start the process. You will need to provide the following information.
- Child’s medical conditions and records
- Education history
- Work history (If ever employed)
- The following links will supply you with a starter kit to help you thru the process. The second link will take you directly to the application. This application is simply to authenticate the disability with the Social Security Administration.
After you submit a report, they will call you within 3-5 business days. If you don’t get a call then make sure and call them directly to follow up. When they contact you they will go over the following:
- Review the completed Child Disability Report.
- Discuss whether the income and resources of the household are within the allowed limits to receive Supplemental Security Income.
How will you know what Social Security has decided?
Social Security will send you a letter. It takes on average 3 to 5 months for them to make a decision on a child’s SSI disability claim. They may also contact you by phone to ask additional questions. Make sure and update them if your address or telephone number changes so that they can get in touch with you when needed.
Once you have received the approval then they will instruct you to contact a different division of Social Security to complete an application for SSI / Supplemental Security Income benefits. If you have any questions regarding this next step then feel free to reach out to me directly or call Social Security directly at: 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY 1-800-325-0778). I would provide more detailed information on this step but the online process is not available to access directly. SSI will conduct the interview via phone or send you a paper application. Just remember to never hesitate to ask questions and be diligent. Time is precious. Sending good vibes your way!!