Children with disabilities often need additional care, which can put a heavy financial burden on their families. In many cases, the benefits available through Social Security Disability programs can help your child get the care they need and money to support your family while living with the effects of severe disabilities.
Many of the disabilities that qualify children for disability benefits are physical disabilities that can stem from birth defects and acquired diseases like childhood cancer as well as neurological disorders, mental disorders, and other ongoing conditions that can affect a child’s life. For help applying for disability benefits for your child, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law today. Our Fayetteville, AR children’s disability lawyer can help you file for benefits and get the payments you need for your child’s disability. Call our law offices today to schedule a free legal consultation at (479) 316-0438.
Qualifying for Child Disability Benefits in Arkansas
When applying for disability benefits for your child, there are a few considerations you should think about. First, you must determine whether your child qualifies for benefits under the available disability program, then you must look at your child’s disability and see if it fits the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) medical definition of disability.
There are three main ways that your child could apply for disability benefits:
- If your child is under 18 and is disabled, the primary disability program you would apply to is the Supplemental Security Income program. This is available for low-income families who need additional funds for their disabled child, and you must prove your income levels to qualify.
- If your child is over 18 and acquired their disability before turning 22, they can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits instead. These payments are based on your work history and record of paying Social Security taxes instead of your need for benefits. If your child was disabled before turning 22, they can apply on your work record.
- Whether your child is disabled or not, if you are receiving disability benefits from the SSA for your own disability, your child can receive auxiliary benefits as well. If you seek these benefits, the SSA will not need to determine whether your child meets any medical definitions, and your child should automatically qualify for additional benefits as your dependent.
If your child is the primary applicant and you are not also disabled, the SSA will need to determine if their disability meets the appropriate medical definition. These definitions are often based on the medical definitions that a physician or psychologist would use in diagnosing a physical or mental condition, but they may differ slightly. A doctor’s definition of a condition or a disorder looks to check whether the symptoms are a diagnosable problem, but the SSA looks deeper and uses definitions that certify the diagnosis as a significant, severe problem for it to qualify as a “disability.”
One example of the SSA using a more strict definition is in its definition of autism spectrum disorder. While the medical definition looks for mere “impairments” in communication, memory, cognition, or other skills, the SSA’s definition requires an “[e]xtreme limitation” in memory, interaction, concentration, or the ability to care for oneself or “marked limitation” in two of these areas.
Conditions that Qualify for Childhood Disability Benefits
Children can qualify for disability benefits for a large range of conditions, injuries, and illnesses. Most disabilities are the types of conditions that are expected to last for more than a year, so temporary injuries typically do not qualify. However, some disorders are based on a child’s development and may alleviate over time. Many childhood disorders that qualify a child for disability benefits are expected to last into the child’s adulthood or last for the rest of the child’s life.
Many childhood disorders qualify a child for disability benefits, including the following:
- Low birth weight and failure to thrive
- Spinal disorders
- Problems affecting their limbs or proper formation and development
- Blindness and deafness
- Severe asthma
- Chronic heart failure
- Organ transplants
- Severe digestive limitations or disorders
- Kidney and liver disorders or failure
- Blood and bone marrow disorders
- Certain skin disorders
- Severe burns
- Certain forms of diabetes for children under 6
- Non-mosaic Down syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain injuries
- Depressive and bipolar disorders
- HIV and other autoimmune disorders
This is not an exhaustive list, and the SSA covers additional disabilities not listed here. If your child has a condition that is not listed in the SSA’s list of disorders, your child may still qualify if the disability they have is similar to a listed disability and is at least as severe. However, getting approval for coverage may be more difficult and may require the assistance of an experienced disability attorney.
Call for a Free Consultation on Your Child’s Fayetteville, AR Disability Case
If your child is living with severe physical or mental limitations because of a significant disability, they may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. For help understanding whether your child qualifies and help applying for childhood disability benefits, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law today. Our Fayetteville children’s disability attorney may be able to help with your case and get your child and your family the benefits they need. To schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation, call (479) 316-0438 today.