Finding out that a child is disabled is often the most shattering moment of a parent’s life. Living with a disabled child may have a significant impact on an entire family affecting all aspects of a family’s routines and daily functioning. The experience may strengthen family members’ individually while making the family unit more cohesive.

However, this situation requires substantial resources of time and money, while making physical and emotional demands of each family member. The effects on a family often depend on the type of condition and its severity, combined with the physical and emotional capacity of the family and its available financial resources.

Fortunately, the federal government offers some relief to disabled children and their parents. A qualified disability attorney may provide assistance to all parents and children who qualify under the federal programs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides monetary and medical benefits to adults and children who are blind or disabled and who have also met the non-disability income and resources requirements.

Kentucky administers the State supplement for children. The Kentucky Disability Determination Services makes disability determinations on behalf of the Social Security Administration (SSA) for Kentucky residents. The program utilizes federal regulations to determine disability for both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Technical eligibility is determined by local Kentucky Social Security offices based on income and asset levels for SSI.

A child as defined by Social Security regulations is a person who is neither married nor the head of a household and:

  • is under age 18; or
  • is under age 22 and is a student regularly attending school (as determined by Social Security).

Federal law requires that a child must be either blind or disabled to be eligible for SSI benefits. A child with a visual impairment may be eligible for SSI benefits based on blindness if the impairment meets the definition of blindness. There is no minimum age requirement for a child to be eligible for benefits. Thus, a child may be eligible for SSI disability benefits beginning as early as his or her date of birth, which may then theoretically allow eligibility to continue until the attainment of age 18. When a child attains age 18, as would be expected, the SSA evaluates impairments based on the definition of disability for adults rather than children.

The criteria for a blind or disabled child includes that the child, if under 18, whether or not married or head of a household, has medically determined physical or mental impairment or impairments which result in marked and severe functional limitations; and the impairment(s) has lasted or may be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or be expected to result in death; or if the child is blind, he or she meets the same definition of “blind” as applies to adults.  While the criteria for SSI disability benefits include a duration requirement, there is no such requirement for SSI blindness benefits.

The assistance of an experienced disability attorney may help all applicants navigate the often lengthy and complicated process of applying for disability benefits. One of the best ways to make sure you understand all of the rules and regulations associated with applying for disability benefits is to retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable and qualified Kentucky Social Security Disability attorney. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online todayChildren & SSI: How Does The SSI Disability Program Work For A Child?