There are many people in Atlanta born with cerebral palsy each year, but what many people don’t think about is that there is a chance that these children will never be able to work when they are older. That is not to say that some of them won’t be able to find jobs or go to school, but many people with this debilitating illness find it hard to hold down a job. This means many of them will likely apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

These benefits, which are different from Social Security disability insurance benefits, help those people who may never have been able to work. Where disability insurance requires benificiaries to have paid into the Social Security insurance program, Supplemental Security Income does not. This also means that children may be eligible for benefits, too.

For a 33-year-old man from outside Georgia, the muscle spasms associated with his cerebral palsy have prevented him from ever working. He has long needed care, which is why, up until recently, he was living at home with his parents. Though he is moving into his own apartment, he will still need some form of income to pay for his living expenses. This is where Supplemental Security Income comes in.

Without these benefits, the young man would likely be in trouble, as he has not been able to work and, thus, would be ineligible for Social Security disability insurance benefits. It would be too much to ask his parents to remain completely financially responsible for him, especially because they won’t be around forever. With federal benefits, however, he will be able to gain a degree of independence.

Source: ABC News, “Cerebral Palsy Distances and Unites Connecticut Twins,” Susan Donaldson James, Sept. 11, 2013