The Social Security Administration, or SSA, may provide benefits for disabled children under the age of 18 and adults who became disabled during childhood, or before the age of 22. These benefits may be acquired through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
For children’s SSI disability benefits, the SSA looks at the child’s income as well as the income of family members who live in the same home as the child. As of 2019, a child and household members must earn a maximum of $1,220 a month ($2,040 maximum for a child who is blind) to qualify for SSI. The child must also have a disability, as defined by the SSA, that results in “marked and severe functional limitations” that lasted or is expected to last a minimum of 12 months or is expected to cause death.
Georgia children with certain conditions, such as cerebral palsy and down syndrome, may start receiving payments immediately and receive up to six months of payments, while the Disability Determination Services office near you evaluates their claim for benefits. Generally, however, it will take the agency approximately three to five months to determine whether the child qualifies for benefits.
In most cases, if your child has a condition that is expected to improve, the SSA will evaluate their condition at least every three years if they are under 18 to make sure they still qualify. Once your child turns 18, the SSA will evaluate their claim again and use the adult disability rules to determine whether your child qualifies for disability benefits as an adult.
For more information on how your child can receive SSI disability benefits, contact a disability benefits attorney in your area.