How To Apply For SSDI For A Child

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If you have a child born with a disability, or becomes disabled later, the burden of this unexpected and perhaps uncharted territory for you to navigate may be overwhelming. You will come to learn a myriad of new terms associated with the disability and services afforded to you therein. Each avenue you pursue to serve and provide for your child may be arduous as you pursue a “normal” experience for a non-typical life in your care. Whether you child is born with a disability or becomes disabled during his or her lifetime, knowing there is disability assistance alleviates some of the challenge. As you plan to seek disability benefits assistance or complete a disability claim application, you are encouraged to utilize the Free Disability Benefits Case Evaluation with and allow the expertise of these professionals to share in the burden of applying for disability income.

Starter Kit for Children with Disabilities

After completing the Free Disability Benefits Case Evaluation, you are likely ready to move through the process securing qualification. The program in which your child would be eligible to receive financial assistance is called Social Security Income or SSI. A state agency will need to first makes a disability decision. The Social Security Administration maintains a strict definition of a child with a disability as identified below:

  • “The child must have a physical or mental condition(s) that very seriously limits his or her activities
  • The condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death”

It is extremely helpful to have all your records together and this makes the application process smoother and less stressful for you. You will be able to complete a Child Disability Report online, once this is submitted you move to the next step of completing the SSI application, which is done in person or online. Again, is able to assist you with this step. You will be asked to provide all medical and school sources and well as any additional services/service providers records related to the disability. If there are any areas in which the agency needs more information, or perhaps more testing, they will arrange this with you and pay for this additional evaluation measure.

Prepare for the interview

Prior to your interview, it is helpful to get all your ducks in a row, preparing all documents and medical information. The following are some helpful steps to follow. and have written down, that will streamline the process of applying for disability income:

  • Child’s name, address, height, weight
  • ALL Adults/caretakers, their relationship to the child, addresses, phone numbers
  • Specific details of the child’s illness, injuries, conditions
    • Include dates when the condition(s) began
    • How do these conditions affect the child’s activities?
  • Name of school, current grade, programs attending, support activities, especially in the last 12 months
  • Make sure to include Special Education services
    • Include names of teacher, school, IEP services/paperwork
    • Testing measures-names of tests (such as but not limited to the BASC or Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale or Wechsler Intelligence Scare-WISC-III)
  • Name of school therapist (speech, physical, occupational, psychological therapy) and the school name.
  • ANY hospitals, clinics, doctors, or outside therapists seen within the last 12 months
  • Any additional agencies or programs that may have tested your child or provided services at any time (Headstart, Early Intervention, Special Education, Community Health, welfare or Social Service Agency, Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Center)
  • Any Medications, dosage and date of issue and purpose
    • Include the issuing Doctor’s name
    • All medical tests related to the illness, injury, conditions (vision, hearing, breathing, blood tests, x-rays etc. Include everything)

Additional Items for the Interview:

While the above list may seem exhaustive, it is likely you have all of that information collected and it is just a matter of having it at hand and organized.  These agencies are there to provide a service, not to make life more difficult for you. However, they do have guidelines they must follow for consistency and accuracy in approving benefits. Additionally, if you feel more comfortable conducting the interview in a language other than English, please let them know and you will be accommodated with free interpreter services to conduct this business. Some additional information that you should have available are:

  1. Original or Certified birth certificate, if the child is born in another country, you will need proof of U.S. Citizenship
  2. Your child’s Individualized Family Service Plan or IFSP used for early intervention services or the IEP as listed above used for Special Education services within the educational setting
  3. Any Social service agencies, including case workers and their contact information
  4. Social Security number of the child and also any adults within the same household
  5. Proof of income if applies for your child, and for family members living within the same home as the child. You may use pay stubs, tax returns, unemployment status)
  6. Other resources: bank account statements, life insurance policies, CD’s, stocks and bonds

Most importantly, keep the appointment. Everyone can relate that life throws curveballs and sometimes keeping a schedule is challenging. Keeping your scheduled appointment is extremely important in this application process. Of course, emergencies do occur, in this case it is critical you call, and make contact with someone, and reschedule prior to missing the appointment.

When do I find out if my child has received disability benefits?

Once you have gone through all of the steps and completed the interview, you will then enter into a waiting period.  It can take from three to five months for a decision to be made regarding your disability claim application. Your decision will arrive in writing so make sure to let them know if your address changes during this time period! Sharing this much personal information may make you wonder if it all stays safe and private.  Because you are working with a federal agency, under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C.522a) all of your information remains secure and private. 

At any time, please contact as these professionals will work tirelessly on your behalf.

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