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Disability benefits for children in Minnesota: SSD or SSI benefits?

Our Minneapolis Social Security disability law blog often discusses the types of challenges working Minnesotans face when they become disabled because of a serious injury, illness or other medical condition. However, there are also thousands of families in Minnesota who face similar challenges when caring for children who are disabled.

Like disabled workers, these families may need financial assistance from the government, but many families are left in the dark when it comes to knowing what benefits their children may be entitled to obtain. And families who are currently receiving disability benefits for their children may not realize how some financial decisions may jeopardize their children's benefits.

Children who are under the age of 18 may be eligible to obtain Supplemental Security Income, which is a needs-based program, when they have severe physical or mental impairments that will affect them for at least 12 months. Children may continue receiving SSI benefits until the age of 22 if they are still going to school.

Monthly payments for SSI benefits are different in every state, but these benefits help to provide disabled children with the resources they need to receive treatment for their conditions and to afford basic living expenses. These benefits are especially important when parents have had to quit their jobs, cut their hours at work, or hire caregivers to provide their children with the special assistance they need.

Disabled children may continue receiving SSI benefits as adults if their disabilities prevent them from doing any substantial gainful activity, which includes working and earning an income. SSI benefits are based on a family's financial resources when children are under the age of 18. When children turn 18, SSI benefits are only based on the recipient's financial resources. Financial resources may include inheritances and bank accounts set up for disabled children.

Although individuals who become disabled before the age of 22 may have never had the opportunity to work, these individuals may be eligible to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits after turning 22 under certain conditions. For example, a disabled child may be able to obtain SSDI benefits after turning 22 if one of the individual's parents is receiving retirement or disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. An individual may also be able to obtain SSDI benefits if one parent has died but worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security benefits.

Knowing what benefits a disabled child is entitled to obtain is important for families so that they can make sure their children receive the support they need and deserve.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Maximize Your Disabled Child's Government Aid," Jason Alderman, March 27, 2013

  • Our Minneapolis firm provides counsel to families who are caring for children who have special needs and severe impairments. Please visit our firm's website to learn more about obtaining SSD and SSI benefits for children in Minnesota.
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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.


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