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Disability benefits for children

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:37 pm
Children may also be eligible for disability benefits. However, the definition of disability is somewhat different. First, the child is required to have a physical or mental condition that can be medically proven, and which causes marked and severe functional limitations. As with adults, the condition must be expected to last at least 12 months, or result in death. However, if a child is working at a job that is judged to be substantial work, he or she might not be considered disabled. When eligible, there are three ways a child can get disability benefits. They might receive ssi benefits, which stands for supplemental security income. Ssi benefits are payable to children under age 18 who have limited income and resources. Or, a child under 18 may receive social security dependents benefits. The child must be a dependent of a parent who is receiving retirement or disability, or a parent who has died. In this case, the children themselves do not have to be disabled to get benefits. Finally, children could receive benefits as an adult disabled since childhood. In addition to being a dependent, the child must have a disability that began prior to age 22. This would allow them to receive benefits into adulthood. For more specific information on disability for children, try the government's free information line, at 1-800-772-1213.
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