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SSI- Child denied, does this mean they will never get disability?

If you have a child suffering from a debilitating health condition this can be devastating and costly for your family, not just physically and emotionally, but also financially. You may not realize that the Federal Government does offer Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to some children who have a severe mental and physical health condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months and is considered severe. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is only available for families who have VERY limited income and resources. If your family’s income and resource level is too high your disabled child will not be awarded SSI, even if their condition is very severe.

Recently, on our disability forum we had a parent ask whether or not their child, who was recently denied SSI benefits, would ever receive them or was a denial final. The bad news is that most disability applicants are denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The good news is there are thousands of claimants who are denied SSI at the application level but go on to win benefits after they file a disability appeal.

My child was denied SSI, what next?

If you have received a denial letter for SSI benefits for your child you may be very confused and may wonder about your options. First, don’t panic. Just because your child is denied does not mean they will never be approved, it may simply mean you will have to do a bit more work.

The first question you need to ask is, “Why was my child denied?” This information should be clearly stated on the denial letter, as well as information about how to challenge the denial. Keep in mind, however, some denials cannot be readily challenged.

For instance, if the letter states that your resource level was too high or you and your spouse make too much money, this type of denial cannot really be challenged unless your income or resource level has changed since you applied for SSI.

What if the denial letter states that your child is not sick enough or their condition will not last 12 continuous months? These two denials may be challenged, and you may simply need to get your child additional medical care or medical documentation that substantiates their disability claim.

Do I need a disability lawyer to get my child Supplemental Security Income benefits?

If you do not have the time or energy to review your disability case and educate yourself on the disability process it may be helpful to talk to a disability lawyer. Most disability lawyers offer free consultations to review your case. They also only get paid if they win your SSI case. With this in mind, there may not be a downside to consulting with a disability lawyer.

How do I appeal the SSI denial?

Review the Supplemental Security Income denial letter. The letter will give you information about what to do next. Basically you have 60 days to submit a Reconsideration form which is the first step in the disability appeals process. Keep in mind, the SSA receives millions of applications each year and the process could take months, and there is no guarantee your child will ever be approved.
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