Getting Disability for a Child With Intellectual Disability or Low IQ

by Jul 14, 2017Disability Benefits

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If you have a child with intellectual disability or low IQ, you might qualify for disability benefits. These benefits can help offset the costs of counseling, tutoring, and other expenses parents often face while raising a child with an intellectual disability. In order to qualify for benefits, your child’s condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability criteria. Your family’s income also has to fall below a certain amount.

You can maximize your application’s chances of approval by working with the skilled disability attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group. We specialize in disability cases and we have helped many clients receive benefits for their own as well as their children’s disabilities. We can examine your case, determine if you might qualify for benefits, and then pursue your claim aggressively with the SSA. Call our office today at 865-566-0800 to learn more about getting disability for a child with intellectual disability or low IQ.

What type of disability benefits can my child qualify for?

Before applying for disability, it is helpful to understand the different programs out there. These are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As a parent applying for benefits on behalf of a disabled child, your child is only eligible for the SSI program.

SSDI is a benefits program for workers who cannot continue to perform their jobs due to a disability. During your working years, your payroll taxes provide funding for the program. That is why these benefits are only available to those who have worked and paid into the system. Since children have no work history, they cannot draw SSDI benefits.

SSI is a program for disabled adults and children who are also financially needy. To qualify, your family’s income must fall below a certain threshold. The maximum monthly amount you can make depends on the number of adults and children in your household.

How can my child receive disability for an intellectual disability or low IQ?

The SSA lists intellectual disability and low IQ as qualifying disorders to receive SSI benefits. However, your child’s condition must meet certain requirements for approval.

General Approval Criteria

We have to show the SSA that your child’s disability puts them at a severe disadvantage compared to their peers of the same age. The SSA has established specific criteria we can use to show that. We need to prove that at least one of the following applies to your child:

  • Your child scored a 70 or below on a recognized intelligence test from a mental health professional or school psychologist;
  • They demonstrate a dependence on others or inability to follow directions that is so severe it limits the ability of a mental health professional to administer a test; or
  • Your child has an IQ between 71 and 75, and a verbal IQ score of 70 or below.

In addition, we have to prove your child’s intellectual disability results in functional limitations that put them behind their peers of the same age. For instance, a six-year-old who cannot read is not significantly behind their peers, but a 10-year-old who is still not reading would have a significant functional limitation.

Special Rules for Infants and Toddlers

If your child is between one and three years old, it can be difficult to get a definitive reading on their IQ. However, there are still ways in which we can demonstrate that your child has an intellectual disability and functional limitations. We can use our findings to win SSI compensation on the child’s behalf.

Under the SSA’s infant criteria, your child can qualify for benefits if their disorder delays their skill development or causes them to lose skills they already learned. We also need to show an “extreme limitation” in one or a “marked limitation” in two of the following developmental areas:

  • Your child’s ability to control their movements;
  • Their cognitive capabilities;
  • How well they interact with other people; and
  • If they can regulate their moods and behavior.

No matter the age of your child, we will work to prove their disability to the SSA. We will work with your child’s doctors, caregivers, and teachers to gather testimony proving their delays to qualify for benefits. If your child is old enough to undergo testing, we can provide IQ test results to the SSA.

What are the income limits of the SSI program?

Because it is a benefit program for the needy, SSI has both income and asset limitations for recipients. The exact limits depend on the number of adults and children in your household.

For instance, in a household with two adults and one disabled child, the parents cannot earn more than $3,801 per month. If that family has another child who is not disabled, that limit rises to $4,169 per month.

If you fear you make too much money to qualify, there is some good news: You do not have to count every dollar you make toward the income limit. The SSA lets you exclude certain forms of income and offers deductions based on specific household expenses.

Our attorneys can sit down with you, examine all your forms of income, look at your household expenses, and determine if you might qualify for SSI. We can make sure you take advantage of the various exemptions and deductions available to you so that you have the best chance of approval.

Talk to a Skilled Social Security Disability Lawyer

At the Disability Advantage Group, our attorneys specialize in disability cases. We have a strong track record of winning SSI benefits for our clients and their children. Let us put our resources to work for you. The initial consultation is always free. Call 865-566-0800 today to set up an appointment.