This article was written by the Outreach Team at Disability Benefits Help. They provide information about disability benefits and the application process. To learn more, please visit their website at http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/ or by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a child in foster care, he or she may be eligible to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are several different ways that a child may qualify, so you need to run down the options and see if he or she may be eligible to receive the monthly benefits.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based disability program. To qualify, the child must meet specific medical criteria to prove that he or she is considered disabled. Usually children who receive disability have a developmental delay or a cognitive disorder or they have a congenital or genetic condition. Besides meeting the medical criteria of a listing, there must be financial need. SSI has specific income requirements and limitations regarding assets.
Children are expected to have access to a portion of their parents’ income and assets, so a process called deeming is used. You will need to provide proof of the parental income, and there will be deductions for everyone in the household. Not all income will be counted. For assets, you will need to provide bank statements, property deeds, vehicle titles, and information about stocks and bonds.
If the child in foster care has a deceased biological parent, then he or she could receive survivors’ benefits. Survivors’ benefits are based on the work history of the decedent and are payable to the surviving spouse and dependent children. There is a maximum family payout per month, so that amount would be divided among the eligible claimants. If the child was legally adopted, he or she can get survivors’ benefits from the adoptive parents’ account.
If a biological parent receives disability benefits or retirement benefits, the child is eligible to receive auxiliary benefits. These benefits are half of what the parent receives. However, there is a maximum family payout. If the parent has more than one eligible child, the benefits will be divided among them. If the child has been legally adopted, they can receive auxiliary benefits from the adoptive parent’s account. However, a child cannot draw benefits from a foster parent.
Applying for Benefits
If you are a foster parent and believe that a child in your care may be eligible for Social Security benefits, you should talk with your caseworker. You will need documentation to confirm the child’s identity during the claims process. This will include the child’s birth certificate, the names of the child’s parents, and the child’s Social Security number.
If the child is applying for SSI benefits, you will need to provide a detailed list of the child’s medical providers and their contact information. You may also want to provide statements from the child’s teacher. You will need to gather your family’s financial documents ,as well the child’s medical records. You will need to schedule an appointment at your local SSA office to apply for SSI benefits on their behalf. Your child does not need to be present with you when your fill out application on their behalf. If you have further questions, you can call the SSA toll free at 1-800-772-1213.
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