While social security benefits are often associated with the elderly population, children are also sometimes eligible to receive assistance. There are certain parameters that need to be met and rules that should be followed , but if you have a child who is in need of aid, you may qualify for help. Here are the key points to know about children and social security.

Your child must meet all requirements

Children are subject to guidelines concerning their eligibility, just like adults. Disability is a common qualifier for SSI among young people, but must fall within the bounds of a restrictive condition by meeting the following set forth by the Social Security Administration:

  • ·Long-term: A temporary bone break or sprained ankle will not count when it comes to social security insurance. Children must have a significant disabling condition that is expected to afflict them for a minimum of one year. If the diagnosis is fatal, it will also meet this qualification.
  • Severely limiting: Mild disabilities that only lightly affect a child’s ability to function will not qualify for benefits. In order to receive coverage, the mental or physical condition of the child must be impaired to the point that his or her activities and lifestyle are significantly affected.
  • Financially qualifying: In cases where children work, their income must fall under a certain threshold in order to qualify. The exact number changes each year, but the eligible amount for 2016 is $1,130 per month or less.

As regulations change, these numbers will fluctuate and should be carefully considered by a legal professional.

Your family’s income will count

In addition to verifying that the child meets all requirements for a qualifying disability, government agencies will also require proof of the household income. Whether the child is living with grandparents, one parent, an aunt or uncle, or a combination of several different adults, the resources of the household members will all be considered. These factors will not apply if the child is living away from home unless he or she is simply at school and still under parental control.

Your child’s disability can determine processing

While in most cases the decision will take several months to process, there are certain cases that will merit immediate payments until a determination for long-term care is made. These conditions include down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, HIV infection and cerebral palsy. Total deafness or blindness, extremely low birth weight and severe intellectual disability can also count.

In order to determine if your child qualifies for benefits, discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Simple mistakes can cause processing time to be drastically increased, making it vital that you use legal help to ensure the applications are filled out correctly and you receive all benefits that your child deserves.