SSI stands for Social Security Income. SSI a benefits program for qualifying disabled children and elderly people. The SSI program is run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Many parents of children who qualify for SSI aren't even aware that SSI exists, or that it is a benefit available to their child. If your child is disabled—mentally or physically—he or she may qualify for SSI.
Who Qualifies For SSI?
SSI is available to some low-income children who have been diagnosed with a physical or mental disability. Many children who qualify for SSI have conditions that impact their ability to perform in school. Those children who qualify for SSI need extra financial support in order to have their needs met. SSI is a supplemental income intended to meet these needs.
What Disabilities Qualify For SSI?
There are a variety of disabilities that qualify for SSI, provided that the symptoms of those conditions are severe enough to meet the Social Security Administration's criteria. Some of the physical conditions that qualify for SSI include:
- Childhood lupus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cystic fibrosis
In addition, there are a variety of mental conditions that may also qualify for SSI. Among these conditions are the following:
- Manic depressive syndrome
- Anxiety disorders
What Documentation is Required to Claim SSI?
It's not enough to have a simple diagnosis of a qualifying condition. Children who carry a diagnosis still require sufficient documentation to show that the condition is severe enough to warrant SSI. The type of documentation required depends largely on the child's condition. Mental disorders, for example, may require documentation such as an IQ test, school performance records and evaluations from mental health professionals. Children who qualify for SSI because of a physical disability must have clinical records, evidence of treatments and progress made under prescribed treatments.
How Can I Get SSI for My Child?
The restrictions on children who qualify for SSI are extensive and the process of applying for SSI can be lengthy. In addition, the Social Security Administration often rejects claims for SSI even if the applicant seems to qualify for benefits. Parents who wish to claim SSI for their child must be diligent and persistent, and must keep organized and extensive records of their child's condition.
Parents interested in claiming SSI for their child are advised to contact a qualified and experienced social security disability lawyer from a firm like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law. Working with an attorney to navigate the complex and murky waters of the SSA's application process can prevent delays and ensure that the application is accepted.