Disability is no respecter of age. While some people in Newark may be well into adulthood before they develop a disability, even children can be afflicted with a disability. They may, then, require a great deal of medical care. Caring for a disabled child can be expensive. The Social Security Administration recognizes this and, in some cases, will award a child Supplemental Security Income as a means for helping the child’s parents cope with the financial costs of caring for a disabled child.

However, not all disabled children automatically qualify for SSI. The SSA will consider the income and resources the child and his or her household has when determining whether to award benefits. In general, the more resources the child has, the lower the amount of SSI benefits the child will receive. When determining whether to award benefits, the SSA will consider four kinds of income.

The first kind of income that will be considered is earned income. Earned income includes a person’s wages, whether they work for someone else or whether they are self-employed. Sources of unearned income, such as interest, other government benefits or unemployment benefits will also be considered. In-kind income will also be factored into the SSA’s decision whether to award SSI. This includes food or shelter the child gets at no cost or at a significant discount. Finally, the SSA will consider deemed income, that is, part of the earnings the child’s parents bring in.

Income requirement are only one factor courts will consider when determining whether to award SSI benefits; there are other factors that must be met as well. However, a successful application for SSI can provide the child with the financial benefits needed to grow and thrive, despite their disability.