Our office is open with limited staff and hearings are proceeding via telephone conferences. We are not taking in person meetings but are available via fax, e-mail, mail, and telephone.

The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur
North New Jersey: 973-200-6629
South New Jersey: 609-207-7905

SSI can provide care assistance to disabled children

Parents of disabled children in New Jersey likely have been in communication with special education staff at their local schools regarding special educational assistance for their children. Federal law requires that disabled children receive a free and appropriate public education. However, another federal program -- Supplemental Security Income -- can also assist parents.

Administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI provides income supplements to qualifying children with disabilities. The supplements help parents provide care assistance to their disabled children at home, rather than in institutions. For example, disabled children may receive private sessions with health care or special education professionals, while benefitting from a stable, secure home environment. Home-based programs may also provide greater access to community life, and may ease the transition into adulthood as disabled children begin to incorporate more vocational training into their disability programs.

However, the vast majority of disabled children are not receiving SSI benefits. Although about 6.6 million school-age children in the United States have one or more chronic health conditions that limit their activities, only about 1.3 million receive SSI assistance.

Part of that disparity may be attributed to the SSA's strict definition of childhood disability and income restrictions. To qualify, a child must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in severe functional limitations. In addition, the disabled child must live in a household with very low-income and less than $3,000 in assets. In fact, more than one-third of children receiving SSI benefits have family incomes below the federal poverty line.

Needless to say, it can be essential for families pursuing disability benefits for their children consult with an experienced attorney, to ensure their application is supported by adequate evidence and documentation.

Source: Center for American Progress, "Maintaining and Strengthening Supplemental Security Income for Children with Disabilities," Rebecca Vallas and Shawn Fremstad, Sept. 10, 2012

ยท Our firm handles situations similar to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our New Jersey Supplemental Security Income Lawyers page.

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