When people in Oregon think of government benefits that are available to them, they may not be considering all their options. Of course, adults who are disabled and unable to work may be eligible to apply for and collect Social Security disability benefits; however, people may not be aware that there are programs in place to help disabled children as well.
One that may be available to families that have a child with a disability is Supplemental Security Income, which is commonly referred to by its initials, SSI. Supplemental Security Income is available to any disabled person in a low-income household provided that certain criteria are met. This includes people under 18 or people under 22 if they are still attending school).
For children who might be eligible to receive SSI benefits, the criteria are rather strict. The kids must have a verifiable disability, either mental or physical, that can be expected to last for at least a year or is expected to lead to their deaths. There is also a maximum income requirement, which if a child is under age 18 is tied to the income of the whole household. The limits are modestly higher for a child who is blind compared with a child who has some other kind of disability.
The criteria for determining eligibility for SSI benefits can be complicated, so families that are interested in applying may wish to consult with an experienced Supplemental Security Income attorney before applying in order to increase their chances of success.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Maximize Your Disabled Child’s Government Aid,” Jason Alderman, March 27, 2013