Is Your Child Eligible For Disability? What You Should Know About Your Income

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If you have a child with a disability, he or she may qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration. In order to qualify for disability benefits, your child's disability must be recognized by the Social Security Administration as a qualifying condition. Additionally, you'll have to be able to show that your annual income is within the required limitations. The goal of the disability benefit program is to provide funds to help families without the financial means to handle the medical needs on their own. Here's a look at what you need to know to figure out approximately how much your child could qualify for through the Social Security Disability program.

What Determines the Benefit Amount?

The amount that your child will receive varies based on several factors. The Administration will consider the rates defined for the year by the federal government, any modifications or adjustments made by your state's legal mandates and your family's annual income.

How Do I Know How Much My Child Will Get?

The Social Security Administration offers some guidelines about the available benefits, but calculating the actual benefit amount your child could qualify for can be difficult. There are a few steps you can take to get a general idea, though.

Check the Eligibility Chart

The best place to start is the Social Security Administration's income eligibility summary, called the Deeming Eligibility Chart. It illustrates the gross monthly income limits that you must meet for your child to qualify. The chart applies in most situations, however it also lists some exceptions.

If you live in a state that supplements the Social Security disability income, you'll have to talk with a representative for eligibility, because the income limitations may be different. Additionally, if you receive both earned and unearned income, you'll have to talk with a representative to find out about your eligibility.

In most cases, the chart will apply. To determine your eligibility, you'll have to look at the proper column under either earned or unearned income, whichever applies to you. If you are a single parent, make sure you're referencing the single-parent household column. Then, look at the income limit in the row that identifies how many kids you have in the house other than the child you're applying for disability for.

According to the 2014 eligibility chart, a two-parent household with exclusively earned income and two additional children in the house would have to earn less than $4,453 a month to be considered eligible for benefits.

Verify the Benefit Rate

Reference the benefit rate chart published by the Social Security Administration each year to see what the maximum benefit amount would be. For example, the maximum amount for an eligible individual in 2015 would be $733 per month. It's important to check the most recent charts because the rate can fluctuate with cost-of-living changes.

Consider How Much Income You Contribute to Your Child's Care

This is the most complex part of the assessment, and it's typically the reason for differing estimates compared to the actual amount awarded. There are many factors that the Social Security Administration considers when determining how much you can contribute to the care. In most cases, if there is earned income in the house, a portion of that income will be deemed by the Social Security Administration as available to pay for care.

The benefit amount your child receives will be adjusted accordingly. You can assume that you won't receive the full monthly amount if there's earned income in the house, but the Administration is going to factor in how many kids you're supporting, how much income there is, what your cost of living is and other things to determine how much you might be able to contribute. The best way to evaluate this is to talk with a disability attorney who has experience in the typical income evaluations.

Things to Keep in Mind

It is important to remember that this calculation is only applicable to children's disability. Once your child turns 18, the consideration of your income is no longer a factor. If your child still meets the needs for the adult disability benefits once he or she is 18, there may be other rehabilitative and support services available as well.

If you've been thinking about applying for disability benefits for your child but weren't sure if you'd qualify, the information here can help you determine if you would be eligible based on income, and it can also help you to evaluate how much your child could receive. For more information, talk to an experienced attorney from a firm like Iler and Iler


13 March 2015

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