Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits can be a long and complicated process, no matter what your specific situation may be. If you or a loved one is a dependent—either under 18 years old, under 22 years old and attending school, or require full-time care—the process is different than for independent adults, and requires a different set of considerations.
For a child to qualify, according to the Social Security Administration, he must be either blind or disabled. The child can begin to receive Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits as soon as he is born; he does not have to be of a certain age before he is able to begin receiving benefits. Once the child is 18, the SSA can reevaluate his circumstances to determine whether or not he should continue to receive SSI benefits.
For a disability to qualify for SSI benefits, the impairment must be expected to last at least 12 months or have existed for 12 months. “Unlike the requirement for SSI disability benefits,” reports the SSA, “there is no duration requirement for SSI blindness.” A parent’s income and finances are considered when determining whether or not a dependent will qualify for SSI if the child lives at home with parents who do not receive SSI benefits themselves. If the child lives away from home—at a special school, for example—the time that the child is home is considered differently as the child will be subject to his parents’ finances during that time. The process of considering a parents’ income is called “deeming.”
Once the child is 18, according to the SSA, the Administration no longer “deems” the child’s eligibility for SSI. Deeming also does not apply if the child is eligible for Medicaid under Texas’s home care plan, or if he received “a reduced SIS benefit while in a medical treatment facility.”
If you or someone you know is considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Austin, the most important step is to seek the counsel of a Social Security attorney.Contact the Law Offices of Bemis, Roach & Reed for a free initial consultation today.
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