Children are not cheap, and if you are raising disabled children, the cost is even higher. This goes beyond medical and special needs expenses. Sometimes a parent has to give up work in order to care for their disabled child, which can cause an even higher strain on the household. It therefore helps tremendously in these situations to have compensation coming in to alleviate the financial pressures, which is exactly where social security benefits can help.
Getting your disabled child approved for monthly payments is not easy, but it is not impossible. For those living in the Southern California area, a disability attorney at the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour can help.
Social Security Requirements for Disabled Children
The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that disabled children meet the definition of disabled, which largely depends on personal circumstances and medical records. If deemed qualified, any child receiving social security benefits must have a payee, who is usually a parent. The payee is responsible for keeping track of the child’s SSI payments.
How Are Benefits Distributed?
Your benefit amount will naturally vary depending on where exactly you live and whether or not your child makes any countable income, though for 2016, the federal base rate is $733 per month. The payee then takes this amount and spends it solely for the child’s benefit, with expenses typically including basic needs such as food and shelter or other forms of personal care.
Covering Medical Expenses
Social security benefits should always be used to take care of your child’s immediate basic needs first. Once satisfied, it may be very tempting to use the compensation to cover medical expenses. You just want to keep in mind that almost all children who qualify for SSI should qualify for Medicaid, which will pay for many simple treatment options. If there are services your child requires that Medicaid will not cover, you should then think about applying for SSI.
You might also be tempted to use the benefits to pay off past medical bills. In these situations, you will want to examine the pros and cons of leaving the debt unpaid and using your child’s SSI for more pressing concerns.
Using Dedicated Accounts
You might be eligible for back payments from the SSA if you have waited awhile for your child to be approved for benefits. If the total amount of back pay is larger than six months worth of compensation, you will be required to set up a “dedicated account.”
The dedicated account is, as the name suggests, a special account entirely dedicated for the child’s benefit. This includes everything from medication to education. You may also choose to use the money for special equipment around the home or even a new home entirely, if deemed necessary.
Learn More About Social Security Benefits from a Lawyer
We’ve been helping disabled individuals in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, and Orange County get the disability benefits they need for years. Call Dr. Bill LaTour and his team today at 800-803-5090 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.