Social Security benefits for California children with special needs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been tracking public health concerns in the United States for many years. Of particular interest and concern to the CDC is the number of autism – Autism Spectrum Disorder – diagnoses, numbers which are up nearly 25 percent since 2009 and over 75 percent since 2007. Recently, an updated study found the following statistics:
- One in 88 children has some form of autism
- Boys are almost five times more likely to develop autism than are girls
- Autism affects children at all levels of intellectual ability
- Diagnoses are up about 100 percent among Hispanic and black children
When a child has autism, the entire family may suffer. Not only does the child have special health, education and emotional needs that require a lot of time and energy, the disorder can be a financial drain on the family. One or both parents often must spend considerable time with their child, time that they cannot spend earning a living for the family. Fortunately, many families are able to obtain financial assistance through various governmental programs.
Available Social Security benefits
The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits for qualified individuals based on a number of factors. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available for children (and adults over the age of 65) who are disabled or blind, and meet certain citizenship, income and asset criteria. Additionally, in California, if someone qualifies for SSI, he or she may also obtain State Supplementary Payments. These supplemental payments are provided in addition to SSI benefits. Other benefits in California may also include:
- Medi-Cal medical assistance available through county welfare offices
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program while you are waiting for an SSI eligibility determination or after a denial of a claim
- Special allowances for domestic and personal care services including an assistance dog
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits may also be available in certain cases. When a child with a disability turns 22, he or she may quality for SSDI benefits if one parent is already collecting Social Security retirement or disability benefits, or has passed away after becoming eligible for such benefits.
Contact a lawyer
If you or a loved one suffers from a disability, contact an experienced disability benefit lawyer. An attorney who is knowledgeable about Social Security disability claims may be able to help you obtain benefits to which you are entitled.