Supplemental Security Income
In addition to therapy, financial help is available to some families. Some babies qualify for government money called Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Social Security Administration outlines several factors determining whether or not a child is qualified:
Income and Resources: Money and other resources available to the child are considered. The government considers if the child can and does work, as well as the financial status of the parents, including their income and the value of their property and other assets.
Severity of the Disability: Children who have had or are predicted to have a disabling condition for at least twelve months qualify for SSI. Children who are not expected to live are also in this category.
Check on Benefits for Your Child
Only the Social Security Administration can determine if your child qualifies. Once you have contacted their office, they will explain the needed information regarding your child's resources and condition. The information will be processed by Disability Determination Services. Check the Social Security Administration website for contact information and application procedures.
Following are some of the conditions listed by the Social Security Administration that may qualify a child for SSI: HIV infection, total blindness, total deafness, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, severe mental retardation (for a child age seven or older), or birth weight below two pounds, 10 ounces.
SSI Services Reviewed
Once your child is awarded SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration will periodically review your child's eligibility to receive ongoing assistance. Usually this is done every three years. The review for babies with birth weight under two pounds, 10 ounces will occur by the baby's first birthday, except in more severe disabling situations when the review is postponed.
When your child reaches age 18, her eligibility is reviewed differently. Some young adults who did not previously qualify based on their parents' income, may do so when they become 18 but are unable to support themselves.