It takes more than the total worth of your assets to determine if your child will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Instead, your total household income will be determined through “deeming.” This process involves looking at your child’s income, your income, and your assets, and then deeming which portion is available to your disabled child.
The amount of income that is “deemed” to your child will then be considered their income. This amount will be used to determine how much they can receive. So for example, if your income is higher, your child’s income will also be deemed higher, and their benefits will be lower.
In order for your disabled child to get SSI in 2020, their total income and assets can’t exceed the limit. To learn more about what the limit for your family may be, check out Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children. There’s a chart at the bottom that breaks it down by income and household size.
Alternative Sources of Funding
If you are afraid you won’t meet the qualifications, don’t give up. There are still plenty of other options available.
File a Lawsuit
Ohio Cerebral Palsy Lawyer has some advice for parents whose child’s cerebral palsy was caused by negligence: if your baby was harmed by a preventable doctor’s mistake, you can file a claim against the medical institution that was at fault as long as you do so within your state’s statute of limitations.
When a mistake injures a child, it can have devastating consequences for families. Mistakes can be caused by negligence, inadequate training, or long hours. No matter what the cause of your child’s injury, a lawsuit can make sure you don’t end up paying for someone else’s mistake. It can also ensure that your child is able to access the services they need.
Look into Special Needs Grants
There are grants, programs, and services available to help struggling families with special needs children, however, the competition is stiff. Because it can be difficult to get assistance, you may find yourself applying for grants that have so many applicants that the funds will dry up before everyone can get the help they need.
The key to getting a special needs grant is tenacity. Don’t get discouraged and give up if you are filling out a lot of applications and you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Keep applying, and the next time you may get lucky.
Apply for Medicaid and CHIP
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can help you cover a lot of costs that are related to your child’s condition. These programs may pay for:
- Doctor bills
- Medical treatments
- Dental treatments
- Hearing and vision services
- Behavioral health
- Special equipment
- Long-term care
Like SSI, these programs have financial eligibility limits, but you don’t have to be below the poverty line to qualify. For example, in 2017 the limit was 255% over the poverty line. It’s worth applying, even if you’re not sure if you’ll qualify.
Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
There are currently tax credits available that can help you pay for certain expenses that are related to your child’s care. You can deduct any amount of unreimbursed medical costs like bills, mileage for health-related transportation, and even medically required foods or drinks that exceed 7.5% of your total gross income from your federal taxes.
Another tax deduction you should take advantage of is the child and dependent care credit. Any kind of special needs child care you needed so you could work or look for work qualifies. The best thing about this credit is there is no age limit. Even after your child turns 18, if they’re still disabled and under your care, you can claim this deduction.
As I’m sure you already know, raising a special needs child is expensive. Over your child’s lifetime, the expenses related to their disability could exceed $1 million if your son or daughter is severely disabled. Applying for every kind of help you can get is in your best interest as well as your child’s.