We are considering adopting a 5-year little girl that is receiving SSI
benefits due to mental retardation. Through adoption would she still qualify
for SSI benefits? Will this benefit be determined by our income?
To qualify for Supplemental
Security Income, the child must have below a certain level of income and
resources. The income and resources (such as bank accounts) of both you and
your husband will be counted as resources for the child, and the child’s
adoption subsidy will also be counted.
My 3 year old son has Down Syndrome. He has been receiving SSI since
February 2003, because I had to leave my job to care for him. He has a
heart defect and several other feeding and breathing issues that make it
difficult for me to work. Financially qualifying for SSI, and therefore
Medicaid, has saved my son's life. We could barely pay our medical bills
before qualifying for Medicaid. We actually had to refuse necessary tests
because we couldn't afford them! Also, we could not find a sitter who
wanted to care for a medically fragile child. Now that I am home with my
son anyway, we are considering adopting another child with Down Syndrome.
He is about the same age as my son and also has medical issues. His birth
mother doesn't want him. If we adopt this child will the child's adoption
subsidy (AAP) interfere with my son's eligibility for SSI? This is very
important because I would love to help this child, but can't risk losing
The adoption subsidy of your adoptive child will not count as income and
resources for your biological child; therefore, it will not affect your
biological child’s SSI. The adoption subsidy will, however, be count as
income and resources for you adoptive child; therefore, it may affect
whether or not the adoptive child qualifies for SSI.
SSI benefits available to my preschooler who has some speech
problems and vocal cord nodules?
Vocal cord nodules are evaluated in terms of
their effects on speech. Speech problems have to be very severe to
be considered disabling.
The Social Security
Administration takes into consideration audibility; a person must be
able to speak loud enough for others to hear him or her. The
Social Security Administration also considers intelligibility; a person
must be able to speak clearly enough for others to understand him or
her. The Social Security Administration also considers functional
efficiency; the person must be able to produce and sustain speech that
is of an adequate speed without too many hesitations or interruptions.
If the person's speech fails in any one of these areas, then the person
is considered disabled.
You also must have to have below a certain level of income and resources
in order to apply for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits
for your child.
I am writing because I am not sure
weather I should even apply for SSI disability benefits for my 2-year-old son. He has Stickler
Syndrome. It is a connective tissue disorder that involves the eyes,
ears, heart and joints. He has teachers come almost weekly and he still
cannot speak. He has very poor vision, and I was told he is
legally blind without his glasses. Where do I start? Should I bother if
my husband makes good money? He makes a lot because he works a lot of
overtime. Do they go by this or his base pay?
SSI is a need-based program. The parents of the child
must have below a certain level of income and resources to qualify. SSA
looks at all of the parents’ income and resources—not just base pay.
Let me suggest you call or visit your local SSA office and tell them how
much your husband is earning per month, how much money you have in the
bank, and any other financial resources that you have. The claims
representative should be able to tell you pretty quickly if you have too
much income and resource to qualify, and then you will know for sure.
My son has
been diagnosed with ADHD. I have been fighting with social security on
getting him some SSI benefits, and am getting ready for the court hearing on it.
I have heard that they are first supposed to at least send them to one of
their psychologists before denying them. Is this true? And can you give me
any advise on how to try to win this case so he can at least get some kind
of medical coverage?
No, SSA does not have to send him to a psychologist before denying his
case. SSA obtains all existing medical records. If theses records
provide enough information to make a decision, then SSA makes its
decision. If existing medical records do not provide enough
information, then SSA sends the person to an examination. The
administrative law judge may still choose to send him for additional
examinations or testing, but the judge doesn't have to do so.
Years ago, many SSI cases of children with ADHD were allowed. Currently,
due to changes in the regulations and laws, children with ADHD are
rarely found to be disabled. Please, see the following articles on this
site to see what kind of information the administrative law judge will
be considering when making his or her decision:
Mental Conditions in Children Applying for SSI Disability Benefits
School Records and Supplemental Security Income Disability Benefits.
The following two questions come from different readers but have the same
My son is a 11 years old and has insulin dependant diabetes. Can we
apply for SSI for him as the parents of our son?
My nine year old daughter was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She
has to have insulin shots in the morning, at lunch if needed, and at
dinnertime. We have to carry her monitor with her when we go anywhere.
In school she has to monitor her levels at activity time and before
lunch. She will always be on insulin which she has to inject with
a needle. Does she qualify for any kind of disability benefits?
Parents of minor children can apply for
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for children under the age of 18.
SSI is a need-based program. This means that the child’s parents must
have below a certain level of income and resources to qualify. Call
your local SSA office to find out if your income and resources meet this
requirement. Insulin dependant diabetes mellitus certainly has a
profound influence on the lives of its victims. The patient must follow
a rigid diet, take finger stick blood samples to monitor to blood sugar
levels, and take injections of insulin. This is particularly difficult
for children. However, SSA does not consider insulin dependant diabetes
by itself to be disabling. Insulin dependant diabetes mellitus can
certainly cause disabling conditions. For example, a diabetic who is on
dialysis due to diabetes-related kidney failure, a diabetic who cannot
walk due to diabetic neuropathy, and a diabetic who has his or her leg
amputated due to diabetic complications are all considered disabled.
Please, see my article
Diabetes Mellitus and Disability Benefits
for a detailed description of how SSA
evaluates diabetes and what complications of diabetes are considered
To see more questions and answers about children's claims for Supplemental
Security Income disability benefits, click here.