Manring & Farrell

SSI benefits may be available for disabled minors

Children with disabilities in Ohio may be entitled to benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program of the Social Security Administration. Most often, SSI applies to adults, but children might qualify if they meet the requirements of the SSA definition of disability. To be eligible, the relevant party also must not exceed the household income and resource limits established by the SSA. Adults who have been disabled since they were under 18 years of age might be eligible for a different type of benefit through Social Security Disability Insurance.

When making an SSI disability determination, the Social Security Administration considers earned income, unearned income, deemed income and in-kind income. Earned income includes wages and other compensation. Unearned income includes disability benefits, unemployment payments and other non-compensation income. Deemed income is calculated as a portion of the income of others in the relevant household. In-kind income is calculated based on the estimated value of shelter or food provided at a discounted rate. If the child's income exceeds SSA limits, he or she may not be eligible for SSI payments.

To qualify as disabled under SSA rules, a child under 18 must meet three requirements. First, he or she must not be employed and earning more than a specified monthly amount. Second, he or she must have a physical or mental condition that results in severe limitations. Third, his or her condition must have lasted for 12 months or be expected to lead to death.

An attorney who has experience working with the Social Security Administration might be able to help a client who has questions about SSI benefits or other SSA programs. An attorney could gather information and put together a claim for submission to the SSA or file an appeal if benefits have been denied.

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