Everything we do—from eating and getting dressed to studying for an exam in school—requires our brains to organize and interpret sensory signals and apply them to the task at hand. For children affected with sensory integration disorder (SID), the brain’s inability to deal with these signals can result in poor motor skills, lagging school performance, social isolation, and behavioral issues.
Raising a child with SID presents challenges. They tend to struggle in school and can require medical care—in particular, occupational therapy—to develop many skills that peers learn naturally. This can place a financial burden on the parents. If your child’s condition is severe enough and your household meets certain income requirements, you might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability for your child with SID.
An attorney from the Disability Advantage Group, can evaluate your situation. If there is a chance you qualify for benefits, we work to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. The Social Security Administration (SSA), which administers SSI benefits, is notorious for its complex and confusing approval methods when it comes to disability applications. However, we have helped many clients receive disability benefits and we can put our experience to work for you. Call 865-566-0800 today to schedule a free consultation. We can help you get SSI for a child with SID.
How can my child qualify for disability based on SID?
The SSA grants disability benefits to parents of children with certain medical conditions. To be eligible, your child must meet both of the following criteria:
- The child must have a valid diagnosis of a mental or physical impairment that causes severe functional limitations; and
- The child’s condition has lasted, or will last, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months.
Also, because SSI is a government program for the needy, your household must meet certain income requirements. We can evaluate your child’s condition and your household’s income and expenses and advise you on your options.
Evaluating Your Child’s SID for SSI Benefits
The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that qualify for disability based on specific criteria. The SSA does not recognize SID specifically as a qualifying condition, but it does recognize a variety of other childhood mental disorders.
To receive benefits for SID, we must show that your child’s SID is as severe as the other disorders the SSA recognizes as disabling. We do this through medical evidence—such as a diagnosis and letter from your child’s doctor—that the condition causes a marked limitation in two, or an extreme limitation in one, essential functional area. These areas include your child’s ability to:
- Attend and complete tasks;
- Interact and relate with others;
- Move about and manipulate objects;
- Tend to personal needs; and
- Maintain good physical health.
A marked limitation is one that creates a serious interference with the child’s ability to engage in age-appropriate activities. An extreme limitation creates a very serious and perhaps prohibitive roadblock that stops your child from developing in time with peers.
How can I apply for SSI benefits?
Because the SSA does not include SID on its list of qualifying childhood conditions, we have to submit Form SSA-538. The SSA uses the information on this form to evaluate whether your child’s condition meets the criteria to receive benefits. It is vital that we ensure all the information on the form is accurate and compelling.
Along with Form SSA-538, we submit as much supporting evidence as we can gather. This could be doctor’s notes, therapists’ reports, school records, and standardized test scores. Our goal is to provide the SSA with a complete packet of evidence that proves the severity of your child’s SID.
What are the income requirements for SSI benefits?
SSI is a government benefit for low-incomes individuals and families whose members have disabling conditions. As such, you can only receive compensation if you meet the SSA’s income guidelines. This means if you make too much money or have too much in assets, you do not qualify.
The maximum you can make depends on how many adults and ineligible children, or children who do not qualify for SSI, are in your household. As of 2017, the amount could range from $3,065 per month for a household with one parent and no ineligible children to $6,009 per month for a household with two parents and six ineligible children.
These figures only apply to earned income. For unearned income, like welfare or food stamps, the income cap is much lower.
Keep in mind that you do not have to count all income toward the cap and you can deduct some of your expenses. Our attorneys can evaluate your family’s income and expenses and help you make the most of available deductions and exemptions.
Contact the Disability Advantage Group, for a free claim evaluation.
The SSI application process for a child’s SID is not cut-and-dry. This is because the condition does not appear on the SSA’s Childhood Listing of Impairments, which grants automatic approval for certain diagnoses.
The burden is on you to prove that your child’s condition is sufficiently limiting to justify benefits. The standards are high and the amount of evidence you must submit is substantial.
Trying to win SSI benefits on your own can be a difficult and frustrating process. But with the help of a skilled attorney from the Disability Advantage Group, you stand a better chance of winning approval for your claim. We specialize in disability claims and know all the nuances of the process. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest for benefits on behalf of your child. We are familiar with the SSA’s rules and regulations inside and out and we know how to put together a compelling case.
Our specialty is winning disability benefits for our clients. We have a strong track record and can put our experience to work for you. We fight relentlessly for your benefits. Call 865-566-0800 today for a free initial consultation.