Getting an autism diagnosis for your child be a scary time for you as a parent. There are so many things you need to consider, including getting all the right support in place. This includes getting any and all financial support available as some of the medical and therapy needs of your child can be expensive. One question on many parents' minds at this point is whether or not their child qualifies for SSI.
What Is SSI, Anyway?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available to some children with autism or Asperger's disorder. The payments are made monthly up until the child turns 18 in order to supplement the parents' income and ensure the child can get the treatment and help needed without becoming a financial burden.
There are strict requirements for children to qualify for SSI. Your child will need to meet all of them to be approved.
Does Your Child Qualify for SSI?
Your child must be diagnosed with an impairment that means your child is disabled. This does not necessarily mean a physical disability. You will also need to have an income—including assets—within an allowed range, set by the government for the benefit.
Your child cannot do any "substantial" work. According to the official Social Security website, that means earning no more than $1130 per month to be eligible for the benefit. More than that and the child is considered to be in substantial gain activity.
The medical condition must also be expected to last for 12 months minimum or be terminal. Requirements are changed each year, and can be different for different ages. It is important to check specifically for the age of your child. You can check by visiting the Social Security website, visiting a local Social Security office, or giving them a phone call.
How Do You Apply for SSI?
While you can get the SSI application online, as of 2016, there is no way to submit it online. Applications must be faxed or mailed in. You can also call the Social Security office and fill out the application over the phone. There is a specific form parents or guardians will have to fill out for children who are under 18.
The important thing to remember is a diagnosis of autism, Asperger's, or any other medical condition is not the end of the world. It may make some aspects of having a child more expensive, but SSI is a resource that exists to help with the burden. The minimum and maximum numbers to qualify do vary from one year to the next, but you can always find the most current information on the Social Security website. For legal questions about social security benefits, contact a social security disability lawyer.Share