As a parent of a disabled child, you know there are many challenges for your child as they make their way in the world. You know you have to make detailed plans, as public programs and assistance become more difficult to obtain, you recognize the need to work to secure their future.
Some disabled children may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which can be an important financial resource for these children. SSI is a program administered by the Social Security Administration and helps disabled children and adults who meet the program's financial income limits.
Children on SSI may have a broad variety of disabling conditions, ranging from injuries suffered at birth or birth defects to autism, depression or other mental impairments.
SSI, unlike Social Security Disability, does not require that the applicant has worked a certain number of quarters, earning income and paying into the Social Security system in order for them to obtain benefits.
It is important to remember that SSI does permit a beneficiary the ability to earn income if they are able and as long as they do not exceed the current limit for 2015 of $1,090 per month, they can maintain their full benefit payment.
If you are still working, now is a good time to consider what expenses you are likely to need to cover for your child as both of you age. If possible, you may want to set up special accounts or trust for your child and factor in the additional costs of their care to your own financial plans, as you move toward your retirement.
The Social Security and SSI programs can be complex and confusing, many parents of disabled children turn to an attorney for help working through the system.
Source: usnews.com, "Preparing for Retirement with a Disabled Child," Robert Berger, October 9, 2015