Assistance Programs for Disabled Children
When you have a child with a disability, you may feel like you need more support due to all of the struggle that comes with their condition. Luckily, there are programs available that are designed to help parents who have disabled children.
Program #1: Supplemental Security Income
When people think of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) they typically think of social security for retirees. However, SSI is different than social security and can assist children with disabilities. It is available for children who meet their requirements. The reason that people often get the two programs confused is because they are both administered through the social security office and administration. A benefit of the SSI program is that children are eligible from as young as birth all the way until they are eighteen years old. There are also compassionate allowances (CAL) that allow for fast identification of medical conditions or diseases in order to meet the program’s standards to be eligible for assistance. This allows for specific families to receive help as soon as possible opposed to potentially waiting a long time. Once you find that you child is eligible for the SSI program, then the amount of assistance will need to be determined based on the income of their parents as well as the amount of people in the household. There also can be specific instances where the typical income requirements are different or may not apply all together.
Program #2: Medicaid
This is a public assistance programs that helps healthcare be more affordable to people. Even though this is a federal program, the rules of Medicaid are determined based on which state you live in. Eligibility for children on this program is either based on the family’s income level, or the disability that the child has. Once considered eligible, Medicaid will cover medical costs based on the normal coverage guidelines that have been set in place. Since not every state is the same in coverage, it is important that you contact your local state Medicaid agency in order to see what that coverage means for you.
Potentially Losing Assistance
Sometimes people accidentally jeopardize coverage. Parents can affect eligibility of their children by determining their children as beneficiaries in their life insurance policies, wills, or any other financial accounts. Due to the fact that these gifts are considered assets, these income-based assistance opportunities may not consider your child eligible due to the fact that they are beneficiaries. If a person wants to leave behind assets to a disabled child, then they will need to do using accounts like a special needs trust. These trusts protect the assets from being considered when agencies determine eligibility for assistance. If you are feeling lost, you can seek the help of a professional that can assist you!
Often times parents don’t realize the available opportunities that can assist with the costs associated with their children with disabilities. Make sure to speak to your local agencies to see what type of assistance you and your child would be eligible to receive.