If you have a blind or disabled child, the Supplemental Security Income program through the Social Security Administration provides monthly payments and Medicaid coverage for those who qualify for the program. It is, however, by no means easy to determine whether a child qualifies for benefits. Unlike other Social Security disability programs that do not focus on the income or resources of applicants, there are strict income limits for SSD benefits through SSI that can be somewhat complicated.
To make it easier for you, we put together some essential information about Social Security disability to make it less of a challenge to understand how income limits work for children. It also helps to be represented by the Social Security disability advocates at London Eligibility. Their years of experience, knowledge of Social Security regulations and procedures, and dedication to achieving a successful outcome for their clients make them a trusted and dependable resource.
A Child Must Be Disabled Or Blind To Qualify For Benefits
Before getting into a discussion of the income limits imposed by the SSI program, it makes sense to first look at the disability portion of the requirements for a child to qualify for benefits. The SSA defines a child as being under 18 years of age, but someone who is attending school regularly may qualify for benefits as a child as long as they are under 22 years of age. This is an important distinction because the definition SSA uses for “disabled” is different for children than it is for adults.
To be disabled under the SSA definition, a child must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments resulting in marked and severe functional limitations. The impairments must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or cause death to occur.
An adult, on the other hand, is disabled when a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or impairments prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity. As with a child, the impairments must be long-term and expected to last for at least 12 months or cause death.
SSA applies the same definition to determine whether a child or an adult is blind. There is no requirement that blindness lasts for any specific duration of time as there are for the impairments that cause someone to be disabled.
Income Limits For SSD
A child must satisfy the same income limitations as disabled or blind adults applying for benefits through SSI. An individual cannot have income exceeding $794 a month in 2021 to qualify for SSI benefits. This, however, is where it gets complicated.
SSA counts only some income, but not all of it when determining eligibility for Social Security disability through SSI. For example, the first $20 of income received in a month does not count toward the income limit, and the first $65 and half of the remaining earned income received during a month does not count toward the income limit.
State supplements further complicate the issue of income limits. Most states supplement the federal SSI benefit received by their residents. The following states do not supplement the federal SSI benefit:
3). North Dakota
4). West Virginia
The amount paid varies from one state to another, but the overall effect is to increase the SSI benefit and the income limits for SSD.
Deemed Income And How It Affects A Child’s Income Limit
When a child is younger than 18 years of age and living with one or both parents or a parent and stepparent, the income and resources of the parents or a stepparent are taken into consideration in determining eligibility for benefits. This is referred to as “deeming,” which also applies to situations when a child lives away from the home to attend school but returns home for weekends, holidays, and during the summer months.
SSA uses a formula to determine how much of the total monthly income of a parent shall be deemed to a child who receives or is applying for Social Security disability benefits through SSI. A deduction is made from parental income for each child in the family, other than the one receiving or applying for benefits, who is not receiving public income-maintenance payments. The amount of the deduction for each child in 2021 is $397.
Income from parents will not be deemed to a child who is 18 years of age or older or not living with the parent. It also does not apply when a child is married or living in a medical treatment facility with a reduced monthly benefit from SSI.
Getting Help With Disability Benefits For A Child
A disability advocate from London Eligibility has solutions when issues arise regarding Social Security disability benefits for children. Whether filing an initial application for benefits or appealing a denial or other adverse action, London Eligibility has seasoned and knowledgeable representatives offering solutions. Contact them today for a free consultation.