As we've previously covered on this blog, there are ways to obtain disability benefits for minor children. Namely, Supplemental Security Income is one option available to children and teenagers who meet the criteria established by federal officials.
While the financial benefit provided by SSI can provide relief to children and their families, the federal government is looking to expand the kind of support they provide to minors receiving these benefits. A few states are expected to receive federal funding as part of the pilot program called Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income. The hope is that the effort will provide better educational and professional opportinities for young people on SSI.
An official with the U.S. Department of Education points out that many children who are receiving disability benefits enter adulthood without the tools necessary to pursue opportunities, which leads to decreased educational attainment and elevated unemployment. The program, also known as PROMISE, will combine the efforts of multiple agencies to provide a wider range of assistance to those who need it.
Currently, most minors who submit successful SSI claims as children continue receiving benefits from the program as adults. Part of this is also because it is unlikely they have paid into the Social Security system, which removes them from eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance.
When families are looking for ways they can support their child who is living with a disability, it may not be clear where to seek answers. Furthermore, the process to apply for benefits is not simple. This is why a number of individuals seek out the assistance of an experienced legal professional to help them understand what options exist.
Source: Disability Scoop, "Feds Eye Better Outcomes For Kids On SSI," Shaun Heasley, May 22, 2013