Children can collect Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in three ways. These may involve disabled children or children with disabled / retired parents.
Low-Income Disabled Children
Disabled children under 18 who are with families that have low income can collect SSI benefits. After turning 18, they may be eligible for adult SSI benefits. Determining if a family is “low income” is based on the federal benefit rate (FBR), which is set at $733 a month for individuals and $1,100 per month in 2015. If the monthly countable income is lower than the applicable FBR, the family is considered to have low income.
Children under 18 (19 in case of full-time students) who have parents receiving SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits cannot receive SSI, but they may be eligible for dependent benefits calculated from the parents’ records. This is applicable whether the child is disabled or not.
“Adult Child” Benefits
This kind of benefits are classified under “child” because it is paid according to the parent’s Social Security records, but this is for individuals 18 years old and above. To qualify for this, the person must be unmarried and have a disability that began before age 22.
Hospitals would do well to be aware of what benefits may be applicable to such patients to help reduce cases of uncompensated care.